News & Views

We have reached an important milestone – a point for reflection and celebration about where we are, and a vision and excitement about where we are heading.

Since our last update, our 2019-22 strategic period has completed and our newly-established Management Group has overseen a community-wide consultation that takes stock of our progress to date and highlights priorities for the future. The consultation report will be published soon and shortly after we will have translated its findings into a new strategy, but I’m delighted to share a sneak preview of what we’ve learned and where we are going.

The completion of our 2019-22 strategy has provided opportunity for the whole community to reflect on what is possible when a common goal, shared values and effective collaboration turn into action.

When we started, there was no SCiP Alliance Hub Network joining hundreds of practice, research, policy and other partners together to understand the needs of armed forces children and young people in their areas – and deliver more and better practical support.

When we started, there was no Thriving Lives Toolkit turning the first ever system-wide research into school practice into seven principles of effective support and a practical online continuous improvement tool, training and resources.

When we started, there was no sector-wide community of Service children’s supporters setting the priorities for shared work and collaborating to make it happen.

And now we can see (consultation report spoiler) great improvements in the levels of awareness of Service children’s lives, in professionals’ confidence supporting them and in access to resources to help them do so. There is much for the whole community to be proud of.

But there is much more to do – and the consultation gives clear direction on that too. So, the long-term focus of the Alliance will be on two allied themes highlighted in the report, both of great value to partners so far and of huge importance to our future success together: community and impact.

The Alliance is its community and the extent to which we galvanise our collective energies and expertise into coherent action will define the extent of our impact for and with Service children. This stands out as a defining feature of the Alliance and of the value it provides to allies. And we need to keep that impact – meaningful and sustainable – at the front of our thinking. We must understand how it is achieved, how it is scaled and sustained, and how it is communicated to the community that makes it. Crucially, we need to ensure it is meaningful in the daily lives of armed forces children and young people – that's impact and that’s what the SCiP Alliance Community is all about.

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