A new strategy for children’s services called Growing Up in County Durham (GUiCD) has been launched by Durham County Council, with the active involvement of young people in the area.

The strategy for 2023-2025 builds upon the council’s previous plan for 2019-2022 and was developed in collaboration with NHS, police, voluntary, and community sector partners.

Its four main objectives aim to ensure that all children receive optimal care and support from pregnancy to adulthood, and that their families are also provided with assistance.

The new strategy has also been developed with the significant involvement of children, young people, parents, and carers, who gave feedback on what challenges they face, what their priorities are, and what services they value from the council and partners.

Engagement sessions were carried out through the council’s One Point family centres, fostering network and 0 to 25 services, as well as the Youth Council, Investing in Children, and the voluntary and community sector.

Cllr Ted Henderson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “It was very important to us that our renewed children’s strategy had the thoughts and feelings of young people at its heart, so that our services are delivered in a way that meets the needs and priorities of all types of families.

“We are committed to making our county a vibrant, thriving and nurturing place for children and young people to grow up in, and we plan to continue working with children and families to ensure our strategy delivers outcomes which bring value to their lives.”

Children and young people have also been involved in creating an animation for the new strategy, where they were invited to help write the script, record voiceovers, and work with designers on the animation-making process.

This video will be used online to provide families and the public with a more accessible version of the strategy and its key aims.

For more information on the Growing Up in County Durham strategy, visit www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/guicd

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