Early Years Needs Assessment

A good start in life is fundamental to lay the foundations for good health and wellbeing in later life. Investment in well-designed, targeted early years interventions produce returns which consistently outweigh their cost and often exceed the benefits of interventions delivered during the later stages of life.

The health and wellbeing of children from conception to the age of two is a priority of the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board and the Future West Sussex Plan.

Local and national evidence was reviewed by the Public Health and Social Reseach Unit and families and professionals were engaged with to identify how the needs of children under the age of 5 are currently being met in West Sussex. Alongside identifying the needs of children under 5 and their families, this needs assessment makes evidence-based recommendations to support the commissioning of services to meet these needs.


Children Looked After Needs Assessment 2017

In 2015, OFSTED inspected services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after (CLA) and care leavers, and produced a review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board. Services for children provided and delivered by the council, including for those in need of help and protection and CLA, were judged to “require improvement”. This led to the development of the West Sussex OFSTED Improvement Plan 2016 – 2017, which identified the need to produce a needs assessment for CLA.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) also inspected in 2015 and released the ‘Children looked after and safeguarding: The role of health services in West Sussex’ report. Multiple concerns were raised in this report, including waiting times and access for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) and lack of liaison between CAHMS and the CLA health teams.

The CLA Needs Assessment was produced using national and local datasets and the views of service leaders. The social care, health, education and accommodation needs of CLA are identified, along with recommendations and further questions, gaps and opportunities raised by the findings.