Junior Ministers visit BELB´s integrated services programme
Stormont Junior Ministers Gerry Kelly and Robin Newton visited the Shankill and Falls Roads to see first hand how the Belfast Education and Library Board’s integrated services model is helping young people raise their aspirations.
At the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road and the Newstart Building off the Falls Road, the Ministers heard how the Integrated Services for Children and Young People (ISCYP) also provides support on issues such as health and well being, education and support for parents.
“We were very impressed by the work of the Integrated Services, which was one of a number of services funded by the OFMDFM £5million Integrated Development Fund (IDF) for Shankill and West Belfast. They are giving hope to many young people living in severe deprivation in the area,” said Minister Kelly.
“Giving help and guidance to children whose communities have suffered with high unemployment, widespread poverty, social exclusion and low levels of educational achievement, the Service has helped to open new doors of opportunity and has encouraged them not only to dream about a better future but to work towards achieving it.”
ISCYP is led by the BELB and was launched in October last year as an innovative approach to addressing
the complex needs of children and young people in Greater Shankill and West Belfast.
“Credit is owed to everyone involved with ISCYP who have helped to delivered an integrated model which aims to make the most effective use of limited resources to improve the outcomes for our most at risk children, youth and families,” said Minister Newton.
“We know that greater integration of services leads to better results and brighter futures for our children, young people and their families. The service has provided a one-stopshop approach to helping children on their journey through education and beyond, targeting important key stages in their lives from birth to 25 years old.”
ISCYP offers a new model of partnership working at local level in which all the relevant local agencies who currently work with children together ensure that young people are supported to achieve their full potential.
Brenda Martin, Belfast Education and Library Board ISCYP Leader added: “Our Integrated Service model will deliver the best outcome for children, youth and families and provides a unique opportunity to break a long-running cycle of social and educational disadvantage in West Belfast and Greater Shankill.
“The aim of our integrated model is to maximise the resources that are available through joint area planning
“Ultimately the purpose will be to change how services are developed and delivered in order to improve outcomes for children.”