Barnet Council hopes improving youngsters’ ‘resilience’ will enable it to become the most family-friendly borough by 2022.

The local authority has drawn up a four-year Children and Young People’s Plan designed to improve outcomes for youngsters – and it has adopted a “resilience-based approach” to achieving its goals.

It defines resilience as “the ability to bounce back from stress and adversity and take on new challenges, leading to better outcomes”.

The council will focus on four key areas: family and belonging, safety and security, health and wellbeing, and education and learning.

Its aims include providing play, leisure, culture and sporting opportunities; ensuring the most vulnerable are protected; and encouraging children and young people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Chris Munday, Barnet’s strategic director of children and young people, says the council wants to create “a place where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are considered and taken seriously as an integral part of public policy, programmes and decision-making”.

Barnet is forecast to have the largest number of children of any London borough by 2020, with the west of the borough – Colindale, Edgware and Burnt Oak – set to have the highest population of young people by 2025.

The council is also focussing on children’s rights in a bid to be recognised by the charity UNICEF UK as a UNICEF child friendly community in 2020.

In drawing up its plan, the council held 12 focus groups with nearly 200 young participants and engaged more than 700 youngsters via assemblies and presentations.

Speaking at a meeting of the children, education and safeguarding committee on Wednesday (Jaunuary 16), Cllr Reuben Thompstone, Conservative member for Golders Green, said young people were “very much at the heart” of shaping the principles and values in the plan.

He added that it “had the opportunity to be a very useful document”.

Councillors approved the draft Children and Young People’s Plan, and it will now go out to a public consultation.