CYPSP Pause and Reset Workshop


Wednesday 4th October 2023:  Lagan Valley Island Lisburn

The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) held a workshop on Wednesday 4th October 2023 at the Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn to give members, as well as invited delegates from Outcomes Groups and Locality Planning Groups, an opportunity to review the strategic direction of CYPSP and look at how the collective leadership could be strengthened moving forward towards the next 3year Northern Ireland Children’s Services Plan.

Aidan Dawson, Chair of CYPSP and Chief Executive of PHA, opened the workshop and gave a brief overview on context, history and achievements of CYPSP to date, and outlined some of the new challenges and opportunities facing the partnership that were being shared with members by 4 key speakers during the morning.

View Examples of CYPSP Achievements Video 21-23

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Services

Eilis McDaniels, Director of Family & Childrens Policy at the Department of Health, shared the out workings of the review carried out by Professor Ray Jones outlining the 3 specific strands the review focused on and specific key reflections and recommendations that were identified within the review. She noted that although the review was silent in respect of CYPSP, the recommendations were in line with the ethos of CYPSP in respect of organisations working together to improve outcomes for children and families.

The review is currently out for public consultation and Eilis encouraged members to provide as much feedback as possible on their own views and that of their organisation.


Children and Young People in Community Planning

David Burns, Chief Executive of Lisburn City and Castlereagh Council and Chair of SOLACE stepped in at short notice on behalf of Marie Ward, Chief Executive of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, to provide an overview of community planning, the focus on children and young people within community planning and shared collaboration and activity that was currently happening between local councils and CYPSP.

David referred to the importance of the Children Services Co-operation Act and the opportunities of working as equal partners through meaningful co-operation to improve wellbeing, share resources and pooling funds to deliver better outcomes for children and families across each council area.  He shared the numerous connections already in place with CYPSP across all council areas and acknowledged the importance of continuing to strengthen those links and partnership working to enhance delivery against shared priorities.

Northern Ireland Integrated Care System

Vincent Ramirez and Allan Chapman from ICS Programme Directorate, gave a background to ICS being the new commissioning framework for Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland based on collaboration and integration as a single planning system for NI focusing on improving outcomes and reducing health inequalities. He shared the Strategic Outcomes Framework that includes an outcome that Children and Young People will have the best start in life.

Vincent highlighted the clear importance of ICS linking to existing partnerships and networks in working with wider partners both regionally and locally with ICS providing strategic leadership for system alignment that will help inform Departmental decision making on priorities.  Vincent and Allan also shared information on the Southern Test AIPB and the importance that they link locally in respect of ongoing work to avoid duplication of effort and ensure information on needs and gaps are shared back into the AIPB and to look at where ICS/AIPB could add value back to local partnerships.


Mental Health Strategy: Early Intervention and Prevention

Stephen Murray, Public Health Agency, informed members that as the regional lead organisation for commissioning early intervention and prevention services to promote positive mental health and wellbeing, the PHA is taking the lead role for delivery of Actions 1 & 2 of the Mental Health Strategy.  He outlined progress on the implementation structure to date in respect of steering groups and subgroups and workshops in respect of taking forward Actions.

Key areas highlighted included communication and public awareness raising, develop or expand existing systems for sharing information on services, creating supportive environments and training and capacity building to support early intervention and prevention. Stephen also acknowledged the importance moving forward on continuing to build the network and relationships and making links with CYPSP and others to avoid duplication and to look at good practice in delivering on Actions 1 and 2.

Afternoon Sessions

The afternoon sessions focused on the future of CYPSP by looking at what is working well currently; what could be better; and what could the future look like and in particular taking on board the morning presentations.

Ella and Lynsey from the Leadership Centre facilitated the afternoon sessions.   The first session explored CYPSP from a Strategic Perspective with 4 stations set up around the room looking at accountability; partnership and equity; collective leadership; and impact and outcomes.

Members were provided with sticky post its and pens to share their thoughts based on a series of questions at each station focusing on what is working well, where do challenges exist and what would the future look like.

The buzz in the room was great with all members participating in the exercise with loads of thoughts and information shared.

The second session in the afternoon included members breaking into 3 groups to specifically look at outcomes groups, locality planning groups and regional sub-groups.  Each group was facilitated again to look at what is currently working, what are the challenges and what could be done better.


Again, there was enthusiastic discussions and great feedback captured and we will share the final outcome report across CYPSP.

5 Oct 23