199 Supported Accommodation in a Family Environment Service for Older Children in Care and Care Leavers (SAiFE) (Supported Lodgings) (15/00010) and Housing Related Support for Young People at Risk (HRS) (16/00150) PDF 77 KB
To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services and the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member on the proposed decision to award a new contract to deliver Supported Accommodation in a Family Environment (SAiFE) for Kent's Older Children in Care, Care leavers and vulnerable young people, and to re-award 24 short-term interim contracts which deliver a total of 465 Housing Related Support units for Young People at Risk from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 and award a retrospective contract for the period up to 31st March 2017, and to delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, or other nominated officer, to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision.
Mrs K Sharp, Head of Public Health Commissioning Mrs K Mills, Commissioning Manager (Specialist Children's Services Care Leavers), were in attendance for this item.
· A review is being undertaken to ensure that the process was now robust enough to ensure that contracts did not require retrospective approval.
· An audit would be taking place which would provide Committee Members with assurance that there were no more contracts outstanding.
· The purpose of the contract was to ensure a smooth transition for those reaching the age of 18.
· Dover Young Person’s Service and Dover Housing Support Services were two separate contracts. Further information could be provided around this. (Following the meeting, further information was provided to the Member setting out the differences between the two projects).
· There had been an error, which was why the Committee’s approval was now being sought.
· In terms of legal costs, the vast majority were cases where there were individual family proceedings in court. Consultation on contractual matters was a small proportion of the totality of the cost.
· KCC Policy was not to put 16 or 17 year olds in to bed and breakfasts. Sometimes, this happened as an emergency temporary measure for those over the age of 18.
a) To award a new contract to deliver Supported Accommodation in a Family Environment (SAiFE) for Kent’s Older Children in Care, Care Leavers and vulnerable young people.
b) To re-award 24 short term interim contracts which deliver a total of 465 Housing Related Support units for Young People at Risk from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 and award a retrospective contract for the period up to 31 March 2017.
c) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, or other nominated officer, to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decisions.
1. Mr Segurola introduced the report and added that a key decision concerning the extension of the existing contract for the Supported Lodgings Service was due to be taken shortly by the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services, as the current contract would expire in June 2015. The Supported Lodgings service sought to offer an intermediate stage to young people who were leaving care and preparing to take on and manage an independent tenancy, and, as such, was and had been invaluable to many young people. Mr Segurola and Mr Ireland responded to comments and questions from Members, including the following:-
a) officers met regularly with colleagues at district and borough councils about the housing needs of young people leaving care. Housing was a high priority for the County Council as the corporate parent for those young people, and this priority was understood and supported by district and borough councils;
b) the Corporate Parenting Select Committee, which had recently finished its evidence gathering, had identified a number of areas of concern around the providers of services for young people, especially children in care, who were especially vulnerable;
c) in response to a question about the feasibility and cost of extending the Staying Put scheme to children in care placed in children’s homes, Mr Segurola explained that this had not yet been scoped and was at a consultation stage. There were currently only 76 young people placed by the County Council in residential provision, many of whom had significant levels of need arising from disability, which would be picked up by adults’ services; and
d) the Chairman added that she had heard from young people recently that success in finding and affording accommodation depended much on where in the county a young person was trying to live; some areas were simply more costly than others, and some young people might have to move away from friends and contacts to be able to find affordable accommodation. Mr Ireland added that it was not always realistic to try to insulate young people in care from the challenges that most other young people would expect to face upon reaching adulthood, eg affording a home.
2. Mr Segurola raised the issue of the committee being asked to support the proposed key decision to extend the existing contract for supported lodgings, which the Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services would be asked to take. The Democratic Services Officer pointed out that Members had not yet seen and read the paperwork relating to the decision (and that such papers had not yet been placed in the public domain) so was unable to comment on or agree it. She suggested that the committee be asked only to give its general support to the principle of extending the existing arrangements for supported lodgings with the current provider. Mr Ireland added that there was to be no variation to the existing arrangements, just an extension. He added that all Members would have the chance to comment on the proposed decision ... view the full minutes text for item 50