A new plan by Kirklees Council has been drafted in order to better support children and young people. Part of the plan includes supporting and working with LGBT+ young people. The addition of three new priorities within the plan aim to close the gaps in children’s inequalities.
Kirklees Children and Young People Partnership was relaunched in 2019 to create a forum which draws together collective insight, expertise, and resources with the aim of providing the best start for children and young people in our area. The introduction of these three new priorities makes up part of their plan over the next 2 years and they include – to improve LGBT+ inclusion and outcomes for young people, to reduce the effects of poverty on children, and to expand their youth offer (e.g. activities and events).
According to data published by the Kirklees Joint Strategic Assessment (KSJA), 31% of 14 year old LGBT+ Young People have said they have been the victim of a crime and only 2 in 4 say that they feel safe within their local area. The Brunswick Centre’s yOUTh Project also conducted research and identified inequalities. There are concerns that poor experiences and outcomes for LGBT+ young people can be detrimental to emotional health and wellbeing, cause more frequent experiences of bullying, less access to trusted adults for support and some worrying health behaviours.
The work on tackling these inequalities will be led by a ‘Children’s Partnership Task & Finish’ group who will also consult with the Brunswick Centre to develop this work.
The other priorities within the plan also look to target vital issues for children and young people. An action plan is being developed to decrease the number of households and children who live in poverty. According to Kirklees Joint Specific Needs Assessments (JSNA), there are 18,020 children living in poverty across Kirklees which is the equivalent of 1 in 5 of the child population. The final new priority is to increase the youth offer to young people. The idea is to expand and develop on our youth services in order to improve children’s physical, social and emotional development.