VCS Matters

VCS Matters is the 3rd Sector Assembly network with responsibility for children’s and young people’s services.

VCS MattersRead the Latest VCS Matters News (Children’s Services).  Click links for further information:-

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Safeguarding Procedures and Vetting Arrangements

VCS Matters has been asked by Birmingham City Council to make you aware that arrangements for safeguarding have been revised following the release of the ‘Working Together 2010’ requirements. It is important to ensure that your organisation, staff and volunteers are reminded of the impact of safeguarding guidance and procedure requirements alongside the organisation’s vetting arrangements. This will enable individuals to promote and respond to safeguarding procedures accordingly.

To support this process, please find links to information as follows:

Follow this link to access the revised Working Together procedures (‘Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’):
http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/default.aspx?PageFunction=productdetails&PageMo%20de=publications&ProductId=DCSF-00305-2010

Follow this link to access Birmingham Safeguarding Children’s Board (BSCB) procedures:
http://www.lscbbirmingham.org.uk/child-protection-procedures/child-protection-procedures.html

Follow this link to access the introduction section of the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Procedures:
http://www.lscbbirmingham.org.uk/child-protection-procedures/introduction.html

Follow this link for the steps needed and what you should do if there is a risk:
http://www.lscbbirmingham.org.uk/safeguarding-children/risk-of-abuse-or-neglect.html

Please be mindful of the requirements in the procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns and also that these procedures are updated periodically so you need to check every so often to ensure you are linking to the latest versions.

Outcomes

Outcomes are a key concept both in Every Child Matters and in the planning for outcomes process in Birmingham.  What difference will an activity or service make to children and young people?  What will be achieved and what evidence is there that it has been achieved?

In September/October 2007 and in March 2008 VCS Matters ran a series of seminars on ‘Outcomes’.  The key presentations by Liz Hoggarth, Hilary Comfort and Andy Bulman from DeMontfort University Youth Affairs Unit are below.

What difference does it make? – Free handbook available

There has been a sea change in the planning of public services, especially those for children and young people. Voluntary organisations used to be asked by their funders for outputs such as attendance figures or the number of sessions delivered. Now project managers are being asked for evidence of the outcomes of their work, to demonstrate that it ‘makes a difference’.

Planning and commissioning processes are replacing traditional grant regimes. Commissioners are funding services that they believe will contribute to the changes they want to see achieved, to outcomes for a city or district or for a particular group of people. They want to fund effective projects and to see the evidence that they can achieve change for their users.

This turnaround has happened in Britain over a five to ten year period. Only over the last year or two has the trend started to filter down to local projects. A new handbook on evaluating outcomes has now been published, with the title ‘What difference does it make?’ It is intended as a resource for workers delivering services at community level to help them respond to these demands for evidence of outcomes. The handbook was written by Liz Hoggarth and Hilary Comfort of the Youth Affairs Unit at De Montfort University, Leicester, commissioned by Birmingham Children’s Fund, with printing and distribution by VCS Matters with permission from Birmingham City Council. The book is based on practical experience with the projects funded by the Birmingham Children’s Fund in the last few years of its life.

This free publication provides an account of approaches to outcome-led evaluation for small and medium sized agencies working directly with children and young people and enters the debate about what is feasible and proper evidence for small projects to produce. It is deliberately geared for people who may not have had any previous experience or training in evaluation and it offers case examples and good practice from Birmingham projects and activities you can try yourself to apply the thinking to your own situation.

You can pick up your free copy of ‘What difference does it make?’ from BVSC – The Centre for Voluntary Action at 138 Digbeth or send your full postal address to vcsmatters@bvsc.org

LSC FUNDING CHANGES: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has been replaced by the Young People‘s Learning Agency (YPLA) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) from April 2010. The transition marks a key change in the way funding is channelled into learning and skills and separates 0-19 and post-19 provision.For more: http://www.vcsmatters.org/learning-and-skills-council-funding-changes

YOUNG PERSON’S VOLUNTEERING FUND: SITA Trust has launched a new fund to support volunteering opportunities for young people aged 14-25 to volunteer their time to create or enhance facilities that can be enjoyed by the wider community. For more: http://www.vcsmatters.org/sita-trust-young-persons-volunteering-fund

‘What difference does it make?’:

A very useful handbook on evaluating outcomes is available from VCS Matters.  ‘What difference does it make?’ is intended as a resource for workers delivering services at community level to help them respond to the demands for evidence of outcomes.  Please use it to give to your contacts and take copies along to meetings.  We can also provide bulk copies for distribution at events you organise or attend.

The handbook gives an account of approaches to outcome-led evaluation for small and medium sized agencies working with children and young people and other voluntary & community sector organisations.  It provides information on what is feasible and proper evidence for small projects to produce and is deliberately geared for people who may not have had any previous experience or training.

The handbook is based on practical experience with the projects funded by the Birmingham Children’s Fund.  It was written by Liz Hoggarth & Hilary Comfort of the Youth Affairs Unit at De Montfort University, Leicester; commissioned by Birmingham Children’s Fund, and printed and distributed by VCS Matters with permission from Birmingham City Council.

Pick up your free copies of ‘What difference does it make?’ from BVSC Reception at 138 Digbeth or email vcsmatters@bvsc.org
Further information can be found at: www.vcsmatters.org/outcomes

Vetting and Barring Procedure

The first stage of implementation of the Government’s new vetting and barring scheme for children came into operation in October 2009. For further details and website links click:- Governments Vetting and Barring Scheme

e-News

VCS Matters issue a regular e-news. To view the latest one click http://www.vcsmatters.org.  It covers the following topics:-


PLAY IN THE WEST MIDLANDS: The Play England – West Midlands team publishes ‘Play in the West Midlands’ with news and information about play in the region. 

For more: http://www.playengland.org.uk/Page.asp?originx_8997gf_4845149368970a70d _2007525130m


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