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Taking Action to Give Every Child the Best Start

A strategy to give every child and young person in South Tyneside the best start in life will be outlined to councillors and partners next week.

Good housing and employment and safe communities all have a role to play in providing the best possible future for children and young people, according to South Tyneside's Director of Public Health.

In his annual report, to be presented to the Borough Council next week, Director of Public Health, Tom Hall, highlights the steps to be taken to improve children's health and wellbeing to reduce inequalities and promote a better future for families.

The new approach puts the focus on a child's first 1,001 days from the day of conception to prevent adverse childhood social circumstances and experiences, creating the opportunity for every child to have the best start. This includes supporting initiatives to encourage mums-to-be to stop smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy as well as supporting good parenting.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "While it is vital that health and care professionals are there when we need them, more than half of the harm and illness over our lifetime is preventable.

"By changing the social, behavioural and environmental factors that contribute to poor health, we believe we can give everyone a fair chance of living a long and healthy life."

The report adds that Best Start Locality Partnerships are set to be introduced across the Borough to provide a single point of contact for families. The partnerships will involve health visitors, school nurses, children centre workers, Early Help workers, community midwives and mental health workers who will offer families the right support at the right time.

Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "This report is about creating the conditions in which families and children can flourish.

"By giving young people and children the best start in life, we believe we can create a virtuous cycle of wellbeing that can be passed on through the generations."

The report will be presented to the Borough Council next Thursday (17 January).


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