Delivering Social Change - Signature Programmes

The six initial Signature Programmes announced by Ministers in October 2012 were designed to contribute, through a range of holistic interventions, to the aims and objectives of the Delivering Social Change framework, tackling poverty and improving children’s health, well-being, educational and life opportunities.

The six initial Signature Programmes

The impact of the six initial Signature Programmes is still under evaluation and in some cases the outcomes may not be apparent for a number of years. However, it is already evident that each programme has reached a significant number of people (based on the latest figures available):

  • Over 18,600 primary and post primary school children have been given additional Maths and English support through the Literacy and Numeracy Programme
  • Over 5,300 families have been accepted by the Family Support Hubs and signposted to support services
  • Around 400 primary school children have been supported in Nurture Units
  • Over 100 social enterprises have either tested or started up as a new business with the support of the Social Enterprise Hubs, creating 75 new jobs
  • 720 families have participated in the Community Family Support Programme, with 300 young people no longer falling into the NEET category (Not in Education, Employment or Training)
  • Over 700 families have been helped and supported through Parenting Programmes
  • Over 300 health professionals have developed their skills and knowledge for delivering Parenting Programmes

The positive impact the programmes have had is sometimes best heard directly from those who have participated in them as well as those involved in their delivery. The links below will take you to some videos where you can see first-hand how the programmes have helped and supported parents and their children and local communities.

  • Social Enterprise Hubs
  • Community Family Support Programme
  • Family Support Hubs
  • Improving Literacy and Numeracy
  • Nurture Units
  • Support for Parents

This additional video below gives an insight into all six Signature Programmes and how they have impacted on people’s lives.

Delivering Social Change Atlantic Philanthropies Signature Programmes

The First Minister and deputy First Minister announced three new Signature Programmes in September 2014 which would be joint funded by the Executive and Atlantic Philantropies.

The programmes will deliver:

  • Services for people with dementia and their families and carers – getting support to carers of people with dementia that is based around the support they need to live their everyday lives
  • Early intervention services for young families in need of support – working with young families to identify the particular issues that they have, and providing the right sort of assistance to become successful parents, and
  • Expansion of shared education, driving improvements in educational standards – supporting our schools to share resources and people, bringing children together across traditional divides, opening up new opportunities, and driving up educational standards.

Dementia Services Programme

With an expected investment of approximately £5million by the Executive and The Atlantic Philanthropies over a three year period to 2017, the Delivering Social Change Dementia Services Signature Programme is aiming to transform the commissioning, design and delivery of dementia services into the future and improve the quality of care and support for people living with dementia. The programme will also promote better awareness, reduce the stigma attached to the condition and improve the skills and competency of those working in dementia care services.

The project is addressing three key strategic themes:

  • awareness raising, information and support;
  • training, including delirium; and
  • short-breaks, respite and support to carers.

These themes have been selected on the basis that they will make the greatest contribution to improving the quality of life, care and treatment for people living with dementia, their carers and staff working in the field of dementia.

In addition to these three strands above, the programme will:

  • create a website providing information to public and professionals alike on dementia, including available services by locality and training;
  • seek to identify 250-300 Dementia Champions. These will be key individuals within a dementia care setting with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enhance current practice; and
  • based on feedback from people with dementia and carers, create two Dementia Navigator posts in each Health and Social Care Trust. Staff in these roles will, as the title suggests, assist people with dementia and carers to ‘navigate’ their way through what can be a complex and daunting system. The Navigator will provide a point of contact, providing help and support at any stage throughout the individual’s care journey. The project team is working with colleagues across the statutory and voluntary sectors to promote greater collaboration between those who are engaged in providing this service. This will facilitate a more joined-up approach to service delivery.

The Early Intervention Transformation Programme

The Delivering Social Change Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) aims to improve outcomes for children and young people through embedding early intervention approaches.

With an investment of approximately £25million over a three year period by the Executive and The Atlantic Philanthropies, the EITP seeks to transform services to children and families in order to deliver a long term legacy of improvement. 

The focus of this Signature Programme is:

  • government working together/pulling resources to focus on prevention and earlier  intervention;
  • using evidence to inform changes to practice;
  • to deliver transformational improvements in outcomes that can be sustained over the long-term; and
  • on using data, research and outcome indicators to demonstrate impact on outcomes for children.

The Programme aims to achieve three distinct objectives:

  • equipping parents with the skills needed to give their child the best start in life;
  • supporting families when problems first emerge, before they become embedded or statutory services are required; and
  • positively addressing the impact of adversity on children by intervening both earlier and more effectively to reduce the risk of poor outcomes later in life.

These objectives have been translated into three workstreams:

Workstream One aims to equip all parents with the skills needed to give their child the best start in life. It will focus on three key inter-related parenting stages:

  • Getting Ready for Baby - laying the foundations for effective parenthood;
  • Getting Ready for Toddler - developing and encouraging parenting skills;
  • Getting Ready to Learn - supporting parents as their child’s first educator.

Workstream Two aims to support families when problems arise before they need statutory involvement. It will deliver five new flexible Early Intervention Services (EIS) across NI which will deliver a range of practical and therapeutic supports to families. Each EIS will be closely aligned to Family Support Hubs and existing local services and will seek to support families when problems first emerge, before they become intractable or before statutory services are required. 

Workstream Three aims to positively address the impact of adversity on children and their families and has several smaller constituent projects including;

  • Parenting Capacity in Early childhood;
  • Home on time Project;
  • The Edges Project; and
  • The 6 in 10 Project.

Shared Education Programme

Advancing shared education is an Executive commitment and provides the opportunity for pupils from different community backgrounds to learn together.

The Delivering Social Change Shared Education Signature Programme has been created to contribute to this commitment. Jointly funded by the Executive and The Atlantic Philanthropies, the programme will receive funding of some £25million over a 4 year period.

The overall aim of the programme is to:

  • scale up the level of sharing, drawing on existing evidence;
  • mainstream financial support for any additional costs and;
  • improve the educational and reconciliation outcomes in schools working collaboratively.

The programme is open to all schools that have some experience of working in a cross-community partnership with other schools.

The Education Authority has been given responsibility for taking forward implementation of the Shared Education Signature Programme.

Further information about the Programme is available on the Shared Education website. Information on the broader work to advance shared education is available on the Department of Education’s website.

Dementia Services Phase 2

In 2016 the Executive approved a Dementia Services Phase 2 Programme at an estimated cost of £7.3million. This programme which complements work ongoing within Phase 1 will break new ground in the area of Dementia care focussing on two key areas:

E-health and social care

Using technology enabled solutions to build on the investments made to date to improve the patient journey for people suffering from dementia and better support families and carers

Dementia analytics

Building the capacity to collect and use dementia data to improve the planning and commissioning of efficient, effective and value for money dementia services – and to create a platform that can be used to enable data driven care-planning solutions across the health and social care system. 

It is anticipated that there will be an overall investment of some £62.3million in the four programmes that are being jointly funded by the Executive and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Social Enterprise Hubs Signature Programme

The Social Enterprise Hubs Signature Programme has been designed to tackle the lack of local employment by encouraging business start-ups within local communities. It is also helping to address the issue of derelict local premises.

About the programme

11 Social Enterprise Hubs across the nine Social Investment Fund (SIF) zones have been established under the programme. The Hubs offer a range of business advice and practical support to local social enterprise entrepreneurs.

Who is taking the programme forward?

The Department for Social Development and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment/Invest NI are leading on this Signature Programme.

Funding

£4million was made available for this Signature Programme.  

Community Family Support Signature Programme

The Community Family Support Signature Programme is an intervention to support young people and their families.

About the programme

It is a support programme designed to help prevent younger family members from falling into the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) category, while helping other young people in the family who already find themselves in this situation to re-engage with education or training or find employment.

Who is taking the programme forward?

The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) is the lead Department for this programme.

Funding

£2million was allocated to this Signature Programme and DEL added a further £2million from its own budget, making an overall budget of £4million for the programme.

Further information

Further details are available at the link below:

Family Support Hubs Signature Programme

Under the Family Support Hubs Signature Programme 15 existing Family Support Hubs are benefiting from continued support and 10 new Family Support Hubs have been established.

About the programme

The Hubs provide assistance to families in a friendly, local environment and help them to overcome challenges which could otherwise be overwhelming and unmanageable. They bring together representatives from statutory, voluntary and community sector organisations who work in the local area to provide early intervention support services to families living in the local community.

Who is taking the programme forward?

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is leading on this Signature Programme.

Funding

£3million has been made available for this Signature Programme.

Further information

Further details about the Family Support Hubs can be found at the link below:

Improving Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme

The Improving Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme was developed to raise the literacy and numeracy levels of children and young people in Primary and Post-Primary Schools. The programme is also providing valuable teaching experience to recently graduated teachers.

About the programme

233 full time equivalent teaching posts are being created to deliver additional, targeted tuition to those children and young people who are most at risk of under achieving in English and Maths at critical stages in their education.

Who is taking the programme forward?

The Department of Education (DE) is the lead Department for the Improving Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme. DE commissioned the Western Education and Library Board as the Lead Board to work in partnership with the other Employing Authorities to deliver the project.

Funding

Over £12million is being invested in the Improving Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme.

Further information

Further details about this programme can be found on the Western Education and Library Board website.

Nurture Units Signature Programme

Nurture Units help to support the social, emotional and behavioural development of young children and provide an opportunity to challenge some of the barriers which can contribute to low educational attainment.

About the programme

Under the Nurture Units Signature Programme, 20 additional Nurture Units have been established in 20 Primary Schools across Northern Ireland. The programme is also providing additional employment opportunities for teachers and classroom assistants.

Who is taking the programme forward?

The Department for Social Development and Department of Education are working together on this Signature Programme.

Funding

£3million has been allocated to the Nurture Units Signature Programme.

Support for Parents Signature Programme

The Support for Parents Signature Programme was designed to deliver additional high quality parenting support programmes.

About the programme

Individual parenting programmes provide valuable guidance, training and information to families and specific knowledge and skills to early years and health care professionals.

Who is taking the programme forward?

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is the lead department for this Signature Programme.

Funding

£2million has been allocated to this Signature Programme.

Play and Leisure Signature Programme

In October 2013 Junior Ministers announced the potential investment of up to £1.6million to enhance play and leisure opportunities for children and young people. The high level outcomes developed for the programme are that:

  • every child would play more;
  • every adult would encourage and value play more; and
  • every community would actively support play more.

Initial work was carried out to design the programme, with input from stakeholders, including identifying a range of activities which would contribute to the high level outcomes. Unfortunately given wider budgetary constraints and the pressures on the existing Delivering Social Change (DSC) programmes, the play and leisure programme could not be prioritised in DSC funding in either 2014/15 or 2015/16.

We have therefore adopted a different approach to progressing the programme, including ensuring other programmes being taken forward embed play within existing policies, programmes or strategies, to the mutual benefit of both. Examples include:

  • the wide use of play and leisure to promote good relations as part of the T:BUC Summer Camp programmes;
  • ensuring access to play and leisure space is considered in the development of Urban Villages;
  • using play within childcare provision in the Childcare Strategy; and
  • supporting play projects through the Social Investment Fund.

Two further activities that have been possible have included the provision of £20k for a natural play project at Crawfordsburn and a research piece into the current gaps and barriers to play provision which will inform further design work. A range of potential actions are being developed that could be taken forward as and when funding becomes available.  

Additionally, it is expected that one of the key outcomes for the improved well-being of our children and young people in the next Strategy for Children and Young People will be in relation to the opportunity for play and leisure.

For further information on the Play and Leisure Signature Programme telephone: 028 9052 8353 or write to: The Children and Young People Team, Department of Education, Room 6.14, Rathgael House, Balloo Road, Bangor, BT19 7PR.

Contact the Delivering Social Change Team


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