Radical Prevention

This is about developing new ways of preventing social problems that have become entrenched in the region and which block the potential of so many of our communities.

Increasing life opportunities

Our activities focus on changing outcomes for some of our most disadvantaged people, both through research and bringing in new delivery methods with our members and partners.

The first major reform projects are implementing the 'Thrive' Mental Health Commission work and the 'On the Move' physical activity strategy.

Multiple Complex Needs

People with multiple complex needs often suffer from health problems, unemployment and family breakdown. Current services are not adequately supporting these people, leading to unfulfilled lives and high service and social costs.

Key issues to address include:

  • Defining what Multiple Complex needs are, based on such issues as offending, homelessness or substance misuse 
  • Updating research suggesting high common occurrences of prevalent behaviour in the West Midlands
  • Addressing the higher public service costs associated with people with multiple complex needs 

There are many other factors influencing whether someone develops multiple complex needs. Issues to explore include:

  • Resilience (including mental and emotional wellbeing)
  • Attachment (and neglect)
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Trauma (e.g. domestic violence)
  • Relationships and social networks (especially loss of key family members)
  • Behaviours (including individual, community, professional and parenting behaviour)
  • Protective factors
  • Effective support (e.g. mentoring)
  • Community impact (on localities and interest groups)
  • The importance of structure and a sense of purpose in everyday living.

Youth & Women's Justice

Our devolution deal with government will help us to prevent crime and reduce re-offending by giving us the tools and incentives to invest rather than manage the cost of failure.  We will work with partners and voluntary sectors to address offending with a focus on reducing repeat offending by those with particular vulnerabilities – initially young people and adult women offenders. 

Key areas to address are:

  • Understanding children and young people
  • Benchmarking current actions and service provision such as cost, outcomes and governance
  • Reviewing research and best practice nationally, regionally and internationally
  • Reviewing options to meet prevention whilst fulfilling our responsibilities
  • Looking at further devolution of youth justice in line with the Taylor Review of Youth Justice and the government's response 
  • Establishing costs and benefits of application to the West Midlands
  • Making recommendations to government and the WMCA on costed options for future delivery

 This work is timely because:

  • It provides an opportunity to build on youth justice successes to improve outcomes for children
  • The current youth justice system is not fit for purpose
  • There is major potential to transform lives
  • There are significant devolution opportunities
  • Government has completed the Taylor Review which highlighted potential improvements

Future Delivery 

Workforce development has been identified as a means to deliver public sector reform and meet a projected £4bn public service funding gap in the region. The University of Birmingham through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are helping to develop a workforce development approach.

Building on recent research a number of key skills and competency themes are proposed:

  • Collaborative leadership 
  • Managing customer demand (promoting self-help)
  • Improving productivity through innovation
  • Developing digital public services
  • Business intelligence and evidence skills
  • Research and intelligence to help inform debate, explore options, free up resources and evaluate new ways of working