Report of the Chief Officer for Childrens Services (CS/19/12), on the development of an Edge of Care service, attached.
(Councillors Connett and Hannaford attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Children’s Services (CS/19/12) on the development of an Edge of Care service, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Cabinet noted that within Devon, significant numbers of young people were entering care as adolescents. This was due to various issues such as adolescent neglect, acute family stress and risk taking. Any such dysregulated behaviour often led to escalation into high cost residential placements with little evidence of improved outcomes.
The Report outlined the numbers of children affected as well as the effect on the placements budget which was currently a £5m in-year pressure. The Council had analysed a cohort of late entrants to care to identify common characteristics of trauma and disrupted attachments.
The proposed model for Edge of Care Services for adolescents brought together a range of disciplines to work intensively and flexibly (including weekends and late evenings) to provide timely and creative support to meet the complex needs of young people and their families and to prevent care being needed. For example, appropriate interventions to address parenting capacity, substance misuse programmes, pattern changing programmes and family therapy interventions or even Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Adolescents would also be supported by Youth Workers. The model also contained dedicated education expertise to support a young person to re-engage in education.
An outcomes framework was under development to monitor the impact on specific outcomes (outlined in the Report) and a specific learning and development programme implemented to skill-up the workforce in specific evidence-based interventions.
The Model also aligned to existing locality working, including specialist multi-disciplinary capacity based on a ‘whole life’ approach, adding specific expertise to case decision making. The Service would work with 240 families for on average 3-6 months.
The operating model was expected to generate savings and avoidance of costs in the future by preventing young people from entering care or rapidly escalating to higher cost placements once in care. Costs had escalated in recent years. Only two years ago, there were 38 Looked After Children in residential placements at a cost of £6.2 millions. As at January 2019, the forecast was 54 at a cost of £11.3 millions.
Initial scoping indicated an estimated budget requirement for 2019/20 of £2.1 millions, rising to an ongoing annual requirement of £2.5 millions from 2020/21. The model indicated a net saving, after costs, of £3.3 millions by 2023/24 could be delivered.
The Report also outlined the staffing model, comprising four locality-based teams, a Virtual School team and a Central Leadership team (49 full time equivalent staff). Appendix 2 set out the investment requirement and the effect of estimated savings.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability (including carbon impact), risk management, equality ... view the full minutes text for item 333