What are children's trusts? Early findings from a national survey

Bachmann, M.O., Reading, R., Husbands, C., O'Brien, M., Thoburn, J., Shemilt, I., Watson, J., Jones, N., Haynes, R. and Mugford, M. (2006) What are children's trusts? Early findings from a national survey. Child: Care, Health and Development, 32(2), pp. 137-146. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00573.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00573.x

Abstract

<i>Background:</i> The Children Act 2004 and National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services require fuller integration of health, education and social services for children and young people in England and Wales. The UK government supported the establishment of 35 experimental children's trust pathfinders (henceforth called children's trusts) in England. <i>Methods:</i> A questionnaire was completed by managers in all 35 children's trusts a year after their start. Children's trust documents were examined. Census and performance indicators were compared between children's trust areas and the rest of England. <i>Results</i> Children's trust areas had demographic and social characteristics typical of England. All children's trusts aimed to improve health, education and social services by greater managerial and service integration. All had boards representing the three sectors; other agencies’ representation varied. Two-thirds of children's trusts had moved towards pooling budgets in at least some service areas. At this stage in their development, some had prioritized joint procurement or provision of services, with formal managerial structures, while others favoured an informal strategic planning, co-ordination and information sharing approach. The commonest priorities for services development were for disabled children (16 children's trusts), followed by early intervention (11) and mental health services (8). <i>Conclusions:</i> The diverse strategies adopted by these 35 children's trusts during their first year is due to their own characteristics and to the way government strategy developed during this period. Whilst some prioritized organizational development, joint financing and commissioning, and information sharing, others laid more emphasis on mechanisms for bringing front-line professionals closer together. Their experiences are of value to others deciding how best to integrate children's services.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Dr Lorgelly is a member of the NECT team
Keywords:Care co-ordination, child care, health services research, multidisciplinary, professionals, service evaluation.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:UNSPECIFIED
Authors: Bachmann, M.O., Reading, R., Husbands, C., O'Brien, M., Thoburn, J., Shemilt, I., Watson, J., Jones, N., Haynes, R., and Mugford, M.
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Child: Care, Health and Development
Publisher:Blackwell
ISSN:0305-1862
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2006 Blackwell
First Published:First published in Child: Care, Health and Development 32(2):137-146
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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