Children and young people strategic assessment

This paper highlights key issues for children and young people in Poole, and their implications for policy and planning, drawing on research evidence from a number of sources. It is part of a series of papers highlighting key issues in Poole.

Key issues

Respond to changing demographics

In 2011 there were 32,600 children and young people in Poole aged over 0-19. Overall, numbers  are projected to increase by 2,300 to 2016, and a further 2,300 by 2021. 

Current  projections suggest a significant shift in the  age distribution of children in Poole  over the next decade to 2021: 0-4s will increase by 1,400 children (+16%) to 2016 and then level off; 5-12s will increase steadily over the period by 3,400 (+28%); 13-19s will decrease by 500 young people to 2016 and then regain those numbers to 2021.

Given the continued significant increase in the number of children aged under 5, and 5 to12, to 2021 a key priority will be ensuring sufficiency of child care, school places and other universal services

Focus on priority areas of need to reduce inequalities in Poole 

The majority of children in Poole thrive and achieve and have excellent life chances, with good support, good health prospects, and success in education and training.

45% (14,500) children and young people required extra support in 2011/12. 3500 of these were vulnerable children with multiple problems.

Children with the poorest outcomes and most complex needs are concentrated in small areas within the borough. Priority areas with the highest levels of need identified for Poole are:

  • Bourne Valley Area in Alderney: area with the most entrenched need
  • Turlin Moor in Hamworthy West: area with high levels of need
  • Poole Town Centre and Newtown: areas with escalating levels of need 

Reduce impact of worklessness, poverty and welfare reforms on outcomes for children

Children and families living in poverty in Poole, have the poorest outcomes. 17% of the overall population of 0-19 year olds in Poole lived in the most deprived quartile of areas nationally in 2012, compared to almost a third (32%) of children with multiple (4 or more) problems.

Child poverty in Poole is polarised in specific neighbourhoods, those same areas identified as priority areas of need. Estimates suggest in Bourne Valley and Turlin Moor over 40% of children are living in poverty.

Child poverty in Poole is set to increase, and the benefit changes will be a key factor driving these trends. Neighbourhoods and groups which already experience the highest levels of poverty will be disproportionately affected.

The recession has already led to a steady rise in the number of children living in households in receipt of housing benefits in Poole, from around 5,300 in 2007/08 to just over 7,600 in 2011/12. The hardest hit areas have been Bourne Estate area in Alderney, Turlin Moor South in Hamworthy West, the Shapwick Road area of Hamworthy East and around Poole Town Centre.

Improve outcomes for vulnerable groups 

The following vulnerable groups have been identified as especially at risk of poor outcomes:

  • disabled children with physical or mental health difficulties, or special educational needs 
  • children living in unsuitable accommodation 
  • children who are carers 
  • teenage parents and their families 
  • children looked after 
  • children at risk of abuse and neglect 
  • care leavers and young adults in relation to transitional issues 
  • children in the criminal justice system 
  • children with parents in the criminal justice system, or who suffer from substance or alcohol abuse 

Support children living in complex families with multiple problems 

In Poole a small number of children live in ‘complex families’ which face multiple problems. In 2011/12 around 1,000 (3%)  children in Poole experienced 4 or more problems, and around 150  (0.4%) experienced 6 or more problems.  

The Families with Futures Programme for Poole (or ‘Troubled Families’ as it is known nationally) has identified 319 households with 381 children living in complex families with multiple issues, matching Government or locally agreed criteria.

Issues that feature frequently in these ‘complex families’ are: depression and mental health issues; domestic violence; alcohol and substance misuse and dependency; and ASB/neighbour disputes and parenting issues.

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Corporate Research Team

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Page last updated: 25 April 2019
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