Issue details

20/00102 - Community Support Services for Disabled Children & Young People

Proposed decision

The Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services is asked to agree that community support services for disabled children and young people (currently spot purchased) be included in the procurement exercise for the upcoming extension to the Adults Care and Support in the Home contract with future buying taking place through this provision for the duration of this contract.


Further Information –


There is currently a mixed economy of home care/community support services for disabled children, young people, and their families across Kent, secured via externally sourced providers under spot-purchase arrangements.


These arrangements do not facilitate a holistic approach to the market across the county. They generate a wide range of locally agreed rates and costs which are difficult to manage and administer. Information and intervention regarding effectiveness and performance is difficult within disparate working arrangements and inconsistent contractual arrangements.


It is our ambition to find a better commissioning solution to the provision of home care/community support services for the support for disabled children and young people.


Adults Social Care faced similar challenges and have recently procured a Care and Support in the Home Framework which contains a common set of terms and conditions, performance and reporting criteria as well as the opportunity to make more informed decisions about provision requirements as identified by Social Workers.


Opportunities now exist to align support to disabled children, young people and their families with this framework. Analysis suggests strong alignment of at least 80% between providers of spot purchased for support to children & young people and those included in the Adult’s Care and Support in the Home Framework.


Options -


1.  Do Nothing – this option would allow the continuance of local spot purchasing of community support for disabled children and all of the current risks (financial and otherwise) that are inherent in this approach. This option has been discounted for this reason.


2.      Procure new Framework ringfenced to Disabled Children (0-25) – this option is viable and would provide commonality of terms and conditions alongside the opportunity to manage performance, costs and provision in a more holistic fashion.


Our proposal is to utilise the Care and Support in the Home Framework recently let by the Adult’s Commissioning Unit to include provision for children and young people (0-25). The Framework already provides support to individuals 18+ and given the high correlation of suppliers to current arrangements there should be minimal disruption to the market in taking this approach.


How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’


This service is purchased to meet the KCC Strategic Outcome of

‘Children and young individuals in Kent get the best start to life’.


The main supporting outcomes of the above are:

·           Kent communities are resilient and provide strong and safe environments to successfully raise children & young individuals

·           We keep vulnerable families out of crisis and more children and young individuals out of KCC care

·           Children and young individuals have better physical and mental health


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 12/10/2020

Decision due: Not before 10th Nov 2020 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead director: Mark Walker

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Christy Holden, Head of Children's Commissioning Tel: 03000 411257.


Has any public consultation been undertaken or is any planned?


Market consultation discussions taken place through Summer 2020.


Cabinet Committee consultation planned: 


A report will be taken to the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on the 18 November 2020. 


Financial implications: The current budget for Care Support Services is £1.3m. The contract for Care and Support in the Home is due to expire on 31/03/24, with potential for extension for a further 36 months. The financial implication of this decision is therefore circa £3.9m followed by a potential further circa £3.9m should extensions be put in place. This subject to budget setting decisions and fluctuations in need. It is envisaged that the recommended option will generate minor savings through rationalisation of currently disparate rates and alignment with similar activities undertaken through the adults framework, but importantly will provide many intangible benefits related to performance and provision management and more constructive use of Social Worker time.

Legal implications: Activities and services undertaken are covered under the Children Act 1989, and the new provision will be fully compliant with Statutory Duties included within this legislation.

Equalities implications: EqIA has been undertaken as part of the Care & Support in the Home contract provision last year. Additional scoping has confirmed that this is adequate for children’s activity.