Priority 1 A Focus on Children, Young People and Families

Starting Well

We want all children in Devon to have the best start in life, growing up in loving and supportive families, and being happy, healthy and safe. This means access to high quality universal services such as health care and education; early intervention when needed, and targeted support for children and families who are in difficulties. We want to prevent children and young people from developing emotional problems and having to live in poverty, or where they or their families are affected by abuse, violence or misuse of substances, so that we prevent problems being passed from generation to generation.

The Facts:

  • Child poverty levels continued to fall in 2013
  • Recorded levels of child development are above the South West and England averages
  • Rates of smoking at delivery are falling over time and are amongst the lowest in the South West
  • Teenage conception rates have fallen sharply, particularly in more deprived areas
  • Self-harm admissions in younger people are above the national average, with higher risk in females and more deprived areas
  • Alcohol-related admissions for persons aged under 18 are above the national average
  • Excess weight in children at reception remains similar to the national average but at year 6 is better.
Achievements so far

  • The Children, Young People and Families Alliance was established with a clear vision and set of priorities
  • Looked after Children and Neurological Conditions in Children Health Needs Assessment undertaken to support development of future support and services
  • Teenage conception rates continue to fall.
Goals for 2016-2019

  • Early help for children, young people and families will be embedded
  • Healthy weight for children at reception year will be better than the national average and continue to improve at year 6
  • Educational attainment in some areas where not doing so well will improve
  • There will be greater understanding of the needs of local children with a physical disability.

See priority: 2

Looked after children: What makes you happy?

In October 2015, Children in Care in Devon were surveyed and asked about their views on their health and well-being, as part of a wider Health Needs Assessment in support of the JSNA. Independent of age group, all children and young people placed a high value on ‘family’, ‘friends’ and ‘hobbies & sports’ to support their happiness. Older participants (16 and over) also focused on being ‘safe and loved’ and ‘entertainment, having fun and play’. The word cloud shows the responses to the question – with the most popular represented by larger size words.

Click to enalrge
Click to enlarge