BVSC has been involved in the Children's Partnership since its early days, and our focus has been on ensuring that the voluntary sector can contribute to the Partnership's work, and to the development of the Change for Children and Young People Plan.

The voluntary sector makes a huge contribution to improving the lives of children and families in Birmingham, and has a rich history of delivering essential, accessible services for children, young people and families. In recent years, we have seen some really innovative and mature long-term relationships developing between voluntary organisations and public sector partners in the Early Help space both at local and strategic levels.

The coronavirus pandemic amplified the needs being experienced by families at a local level, and really accelerated the pace of change. What's pleasing is that - largely thanks to the conversations made possible through the Children's Partnership - the strong cross-sector relationships that were re-forged during that crisis have gone on to be nurtured, grown, and strengthened in the months and years since. BVSC works to support the group of Early Help lead voluntary sector agencies that have developed - and continue to develop - strong bonds with the local iterations of the Children's Trust, the local authority, the Police, the NHS and others.

BVSC's membership of the Partnership is an acknowledgement of the role of the voluntary sector not just in the delivery of services to children and young people, but also in their strategic development. This has enabled the sector to have increasingly nuanced and mature conversations with partners about what's needed longer-term to ensure a strong and sustainable voluntary sector infrastructure in the children, families and young people's space.

I'm particularly excited by the fact that Partnership members have been able to collaborate on creating a five-year plan. This gives us a real opportunity to take an appropriately longer-term view of how best to respond to the needs of our children and young people. Most importantly, it creates a truly collegiate cross-sector, system-wide environment which can enable us to strengthen our individual and collective services to children and young people.

General Overview

Mapping of the Citywide Early Help Resources