World anti-social behaviour expert to visit city

By on 26/06/2009 in News

A world expert on preventing anti-social behaviour is visiting Birmingham to share his work and find out more about the city's pioneering approach to improving the lives of young people.

Del Elliott, Director of the Centre for the Study of Prevention of Violence at the Institute of Behavioural Science at the University of Colorado, is to attend the Council's Brighter Futures Conference on Tuesday, June 30th as key note speaker.

A world authority on preventing violence and a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, his work has been influential in Birmingham's children's transformation programme which is increasingly attracting national and international interest.

His Blueprints for Violence Prevention work was used to select preventative programmes to be piloted in Birmingham.

The authority is putting in place a range of evidence based programmes designed to improve six key outcomes which have been identified through surveys of young people and their experiences. They are:

• Physical health
• Behaviour
• Emotional health
• Social literacy (ie the way young people relate to each other)
• Literacy and numeracy
• Job skills

Birmingham's groundbreaking approach to early intervention is part of the authority's Business Transformation programme aimed at saving £101 million over the next fifteen  years.

The authority currently spends £1.3 billion on Children's Services per year - approximately £800 million going directly into school budgets.

By spending £41.7 million in areas such as parenting and  curricula-based programmes,  it is estimated that savings of £101 million can be made over a 15-year period on cash that would otherwise have to be spent dealing with more entrenched problems in young people later in life.

Cllr Les Lawrence, Birmingham's Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “We are doing this because it will provide better outcomes for our children.

“Our young people are the greatest resource in this city and we need to invest in them in order to create a prosperous future.

“Already we are seeing on year improvements with examination results and we are committed to investing significantly in early years to reduce the need for more expensive intervention later in life.

“The approach is part of City Council's Business Transformation initiative designed to improve the lives of citizens and make the authority provide better value for money and operate more efficiently.”

The Brighter Futures conference will provide an opportunity for front line practitioners and managers working in children’s services to hear about the latest research findings and Birmingham's programme of change.

Tony Howell, strategic director for Children, Young People and Families at Birmingham City Council, said: “This event enables all those people that work with children and young people to come together and learn more about our plans to improve outcomes for children and young people.

“We are especially delighted to welcome Del Elliot and are pleased that such a leading authority is interested in what we are doing and is keen to share his knowledge and research findings to support our work.”
ENDS

Further information from Shahid Naqvi 0121 303 3635.
Notes to Editors
A range of prevention initiatives are already being piloted and evaluated in Birmingham. These are:
• Family Nurse Partnership: aimed at improving the parenting and economic circumstances of the youngest and least experienced parents
• The Incredible Years; an international evidence based programme which will be  piloted  in children's centres focusing on children who have severe behavioral difficulties
• Triple-P: an international evidence-based programme focusing on providing improving parenting skills
• PATHS: a programme delivered as part of the cirriculum in primary schools to help children regulate their emotions and behaviour enabling them to make positive relationships

The Brighter Futures strategy followed the largest-ever research programme of its type involving consultation with children and young people. In total parents of 500 pre school children  and 6,000 children took part in the process.The survey has continued year on year and there is now evidence about 18,000 young people’s lives in the city.

Birmingham's population profile is the youngest of any major European city – already 37 per cent of the city's population is under 25-years-old and the average age is continuing to fall. The number of children and young people under 19 is expected to reach almost 300,000 within the next decade.

The full Brighter Futures strategy - transforming children's services and conference details are available at www.birmingham.gov.uk/brighterfutures

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