Leaving Care Service
- Meeting of Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 9th October, 2019 10.00 am (Item 42.)
Report of the Strategic Director of Children’s and Education Services
This report provides an update on progress and positive impact being made by the Leaving Care Service.
The Committee received a report of the Strategic Director of Children’s and Education Services which provided an update on progress and positive impact
being made by the Leaving Care Service.
Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:
- An update on the workforce;
- Performance, assurance and quality of practice; and
- An update on key priorities of the service delivery plan.
Some of the key points and themes that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:
- To welcome that the service had been brought in-house and the positive impact of this;
- Accommodation options for Our Young People (Care Leavers);
- How the service was engaging with young people who had already left care and making them aware of the support that was available to them;
- Mental health support and support for drug and alcohol issues;
- Advertising for mentors for Our Young People; and
- That these issues were also discussed by the Corporate Parenting Panel and that all Elected Members were Corporate Parents and should be encouraged to attend the Panel’s meetings.
The Strategic Director of Children’s and Education Services informed Members that Children’s Services had been working with Strategic Housing colleagues to address the issue of young people being in unsuitable accommodation and, subsequently, in the last twelve months, none of Our Young People had needed to be housed in emergency accommodation. He reported that Our Young People were now prioritised for social housing and informed Members about the House Project, which would help to prepare young people for independent living. The Service Lead (Leaving Care Service) advised Members that all Our Young People had a £2000 first home grant, which they could use under the supervision of their allocated worker, and that this could be used for a deposit, where the young person was ready to have their own tenancy. He emphasised the importance of planning for young people’s future accommodation and outlined the options, including ‘staying put’ with foster carers, living in supported lodgings and living in their own flat with floating support until they were able to live independently.
The Service Lead (Leaving Care Service) informed Members that Our Young People between the ages of 21 and 25 were encouraged to get in touch with the service for any support needs and that this would be promoted through the website and social media. He reported that 44 of Our Young People within this age group had got back in touch for support so far. He informed Members about the Health Priority Plan and the Health Service Development Plan which included mental health services and support for drug and alcohol problems. He reported that staff in the Leaving Care Service were able to seek advice from child psychologists in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) about young people they were working with. He informed Members that the Our Young People who were experiencing difficulties were able to access support from the young people’s mental health charity 42nd Street.
The Executive Member for Children and Schools reported that he had circulated information on the mentoring scheme to all Members of the Council but would do so again and that there was an event to match mentors with young people being held this month.
To receive a further report in 12 months’ time.