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Engaging parents in the transition in and through work. Celine McStravick Director NCB NI. NCB’s vision is a society in which children and young people contribute, are valued and their rights respected.

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Engaging parents in the transition in and through work

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Engaging parents in the transition in and through work

Celine McStravick



NCB’s vision is a society in which children and young people contribute, are valued and their rights respected.

NCB’s mission is to improve children and young people’s experiences and life chances, reducing the impact of inequalities

NCB achieves its mission and aims through:

  • Policy

  • Proof

  • Practice

  • Participation

  • Partnership



  • Ability to gain employment

  • Ability to maintain employment and make effective transitions between jobs

  • Employability assets

    • Knowledge (what)

    • Skills (how)

    • Attitudes ( why)

Careers guidance rationale?

  • Linked to employability assets

  • Abilities are required

    • Career management skills

    • Job search skills

    • Strategic support

    • Demonstration of employability assets

Effective Intervention Careers Guidance?

External macro


  • Individual

  • Employability assets

  • Knowledge

  • Skills

  • Attitudes



Personal circumstances

What does the evidence tell us?

  • 1.16 million

What does the evidence tell us?

  • 48,000

  • 21.4%

What does the evidence tell us?


    • By the age of 18 45% of those with no reported qualifications had spent more than one year as NEET

    • http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/building-engagement-building-utures.pdf


    • 16 year olds with free school meals more than twice as likely to be NEET than peer group

What does the evidence tell us?

  • Children's life chances are most heavily predicted on their development in the first five years of life- (The foundation years : preventing poor children becoming poor adults frank fields)

  • Gaps in the attainment of richer and poorer children can open as early as 22 months and can have implications for achievement in adult life. - (The foundation years : preventing poor children becoming poor adults frank fields)

What does the evidence tell us?

  • Some employability skills include;

    • Team working, communication, flexibility , initiative, motivation, self awareness.

  • School Readiness and skills development

  • Impact of family

  • What does the evidence tell us?

    Heckman (2000) argues that children who develop well at

    earlier ages and are ready to start school are in a position to elicit interactions and experiences

    that accelerate their subsequent development and facilitate their achievement

    Can we reframe service delivery?

    • Where does careers guidance fit in the young persons pathway to employment?

    • Young NCB – “too late”, “my parents tell me the best options for me”, “all the school cares about is results”

    The Colin Area

    • Poleglass

    • Twinbrook

    • Lagmore

    • Kilwee

    • Largest deprived area in Northern Ireland with a total population of 30,000. Same population as Newry City and Larger than Coleraine with Large Town Status.


    • The Colin Neighbourhood Renewal Area has:

    • The highest percentage of under 16s, 36% compared to 26% the average across the 36 N.R. areas.

    • Highest percentage of lone parent households with children, at 30% compared to the average of 17% across the 36 N.R. areas and 6% in non N.R. areas.

    • KS2 - % Achieving level 4 or above Maths 2009

    • Colin area 69%, Non NR Areas 84%, N Ireland 82%

    • School Leavers (2009) 5+ GCSE (A-C) Inc. Eng & Maths;

      • Colin area 41%, Non NR Areas 62%, N Ireland 58%.

    • 54% of those claiming Job Seekers Allowance are in the 16-36 yrs age groups.

    Some progress…

    • Strong, vibrant Community Neighbourhood Partnership

    • Child and Family Support programmes

      • Footprints Women's Centre

      • Ionad na Fuiseoige

      • Fathers development

      • SureStart

      • Roots of Empathy

      • Mellow Babies

      • New Parents Project with Health Visitors

    BUT… What about Key Indicators;

    Education, Health and Employment

    % Achieved At Least 5 GCSE's grades A*-C (or equiv)

    Previous interventions have not fundamentally changed outcomes within the Colin area.

    A different approach is required to break the cycle of disadvantage.

    The Early Intervention Strategy offers a different and innovative approach.

    • Early Intervention Community in Colin

    • What is it?

      • Where community Leaders understand and lead the development/implementation of Early Intervention programmes

      • Generates a positive vision for change

      • Has Inter-agency support and commitment

      • Reflects local need/gaps

    Colin Early Intervention Community


    Children, young people and families of the Colin community will have the best possible lives where hope will flourish.



    • Outcomes

    • Five cross cutting themes:

    • Health and Well being

    • Education and Training

    • Parent support and Engagement

    • Provision and Delivery of services

    • Community Change/ Empowerment

    • The theme of Child Development was integral to all outcomes and outputs

    • Outcomes

    • Health and Well being

      • There will be a reduction in rates of suicide and alcohol and drug use in young people and adults.

      • Education and Training

      • Children will be better able to manage school transitions

      • Parental Support and Engagement

      • There will be improved communication within families

    • Investment Principles

    • User Involvement

    • Evidence based

    • Sustainable

    • Connectedness

    • Evaluation, Tracking and Outcomes

    Our Journey – the programmes/projects

    School Counselling

    Parent Support

    Mellow Babies

    Mellow Parents

    Time to Read

    Incredible Years

    Roots of Empathy

    Speech and Language

    Can we reframe service delivery?

    • Public Health Agency

      • Family nurse partnership

      • Roots of empathy

    • Atlantic Philanthropy children and youth programme

      • Social and emotional learning, resilience, parenting, literacy and numeracy

    Can we reframe policy?

    • To develop effective career decision makers leading to increased and appropriate participation in education, training and employment”- Preparing for success http://www.deni.gov.uk/microsoft word-preparing for success implementation report march 2011.pdf

      • “There is a particular challenge in promoting a culture of expectation and aspiration among pupils, their families and community and to recognise the value of education”

    Can we reframe policy?

    • Pathways to success http://www.delni.gov.uk/pathways-to-success-consultation-document.pdf

      • Planned actions

        • A. Information

        • B. Interventions

        • C. Prevention


    • Investing the best possible support at the most appropriate time

    • Learning from our experience- what does the actual evidence tell us?

    • Targeted interventions with those most in need

      • “in my experience parents are largely left to their own devices which means that pushy, articulate middle class (it literate) parents are in a far better position to support their kids”

    • Building connectivity amongst services and sectors.

    Final thought

    Are we listening?

    Are we learning?

    Are we changing?

    NCB Northern Ireland2nd Floor, Albany House73-75 Great Victoria StreetBelfast BT2 7AFTel : 0208 9089 1730Email : ncbni@ncb.org.uk
Web : www.ncb.org.uk

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