Making sure our care leavers get the best support

The Well Being Performance Panel spent some time this week following up the “Support for Care Leavers” inquiry which was completed in March 2012.  This follow up stage is a really important part of the scrutiny process because it enables councillors to make sure that the recommendations that were accepted by the Cabinet Member have been put into action.

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Good quality support for young people leaving the care of the local authority is  vital if our care leavers are to go on to have successful and independent adult lives.

The panel learned from officers that there had been good progress with the implementation of the majority of the 16 recommendations.  But the panel did have some concerns around the effectiveness of the support services which were commissioned by the Council from Barnardo’s.  Councillors on the panel felt that issues around the quality and effectiveness of this service, which were identified by the inquiry in March 2012 had yet to be fully addressed.  Councillors were keen to see this situation resolved because of the potential impact on the outcomes for some care leavers and the budget.  Councillors also raised concerns about progress with the recommendation on  training for care leavers on life skills and the transition to independent living.

It was these concerns that led the councillors to agree that a further follow-up report was needed so that they could be satisfied that the agreed recommendations had been implemented.  The panel will receive the final follow up report in four months time.

The panel also had their regular quarterly performance monitoring of Adult Social Services.   The councillor’s key concern was the annual projection for delayed transfers of care also known as “bed blocking”.  The panel was keen to stress the importance of minimising the numbers of people who were delayed in hospital, to which officers agreed.  This will be something that the panel returns to in the next quarterly performance monitoring session.

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