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New one-stop-shop care service launched to help children and young people in South Tyneside

The Mayor Coun Ken Stephenson is joined by Coun Moira Smith at the opening of the Market Place, with care leavers Kirsty and Carrie
The Mayor Coun Ken Stephenson is joined by Coun Moira Smith at the opening of the Market Place, with care leavers Kirsty and Carrie

Children and young people in South Tyneside can look forward to receiving better services following the re-location of a number of teams under one roof.

The fostering and adoption teams, social work teams for looked-after children, the participation team and the connected carers’ team, have all moved into new refurbished offices at South Shields’ Market Place.

It’s about making sure our young people feel confident.

Coun Moira Smith

The move means looked-after children, care leavers and carers can now access a range of support in a single location.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson, performed the official opening.

He said: “This re-launch of services reinforces our commitment to looked-after children and those leaving care. Our shared vision is for all our children to reach their full potential and the opening of the Market Place signals the next step in our combined efforts to make sure each child and young person we work with has the best start in life.”

By bringing together related services in one place, young people and their carers will have enhanced access to a ‘one-stop-shop’ of information, support and advice as well as facilities such as meeting rooms.

The event also saw the launch of the council’s new WorkPlace service which aims to improve the success of young people leaving care to access education, employment and training

. The new service has been funded by the Department of Education after the South Tyneside and North Tyneside Councils were named the region’s first Partners in Practice. As Partners in Practice, both councils will share their expertise to help drive up standards at other local authorities as well as bringing forward their own innovation project.

Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “The launch of our WorkPlace service is about making sure all our young people feel confident and can access the right support and training to allow them to achieve their goals.

“By working with schools and carers to raise the aspirations of our looked-after children, developing a bespoke careers advice service and by working more closely with the business community we are confident we can create the right opportunities for our young care leavers to access the world of work.”

South Tyneside Council is one of just a handful of councils across the country whose Children’s Services have been rated ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features.