Norfolk County Council’s partnership with Barnado’s will benefit county’s young people

Barnado's and Norfolk County Council have formed a new partnership to benefit children and young peo

Barnado's and Norfolk County Council have formed a new partnership to benefit children and young people. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Vulnerable children and young people are set to benefit from a groundbreaking new partnership between the charity Barnardo's and Norfolk County Council.

In the unique scheme, the two bodies are joining forces to improve the care given to looked-after children and care leavers.

It is understood the partnership will this week apply for a grant of some £7m from the Department for Education's Innovations Fund to improve services.

The council believes the link-up will allow it to draw on Barnardo's resources and expertise and give it a better understanding of young people's aspirations and needs.

Norfolk's executive director of children's services, Michael Rosen, said: 'This partnership has been several months in the making and supports the particular needs of Norfolk children looked after by the local authority and our care leavers.

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'We want to bring new ways of working to Norfolk and plan to combine resources to achieve common aims. Our partnership with Barnardo's does not involve any transfer of staff or funding and each organisation remains independent in terms of policy and governance.'

The partnership will lead to a new governance model and working arrangements unique to Norfolk and will recognise the expertise of both Barnardo's and council staff.

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Barnardo's corporate director of children's services, Sam Monaghan, said: 'Working with Norfolk presents an exciting opportunity to explore how we can deliver better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the county.

'This feels like a genuine partnership, bringing the skills of both organisations to look afresh at the experience of children in care and for young people leaving care, improving their life chances and building robust services for the future.'

The council's children's services committee agreed to the strategic partnership arrangement last week.

Committee chairman Roger Smith said: 'I welcome this partnership as I am determined to make sure that Norfolk's services for looked-after children and care leavers now improve as rapidly as other areas like safeguarding and support for education – improvements which have already been acknowledged by Ofsted.'

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