Issue details

21/00101- Young Carers - procurement of a new service

Proposed Decision:

 

To commission a service that supports young carers and to develop the skills of the wider workforce in recognition and support of young carers.

 

Background:

 

         This proposal is to enter a formal commissioning process for a Kent Young Carers Support Service

 

         This service will comprise two distinct elements: workforce development; and direct support for Children and Young People. Support can take the form of young carers assessments, 1:1 support, access to a district young carer ‘Chill Club’, signposting and information.

 

         Local Authorities have a statutory responsibility (under the amendments to the Childrens and Families Act) to ensure that all Young Carers under the age of 18 are in receipt of an assessment of their needs. The Children and Families Act seeks to ensure that a Young Carer is assessed for support and assessed again if support needs have changed

o        The current contract has been successful with demonstratable positive outcomes for young people. Whilst the scope of any new service will be developed in partnership with stakeholders it is anticipated that the two main focus points (assessments and workforce development) of the current specification will remain.

 

Options          

Option

Advantages

Risks

1. Do nothing: The contract ends and KCC do not meet their statutory obligations for Young Carer Assessments.

 

· Annual saving of £325,500

·Programmes of support in some localities are likely to be picked up by the wider Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS).

·   Fragmented approach to delivery continues.

·   KCC fail in their statutory obligations for Young Carers Assessments.

·     Already pressured VCS organisations across the county are placed under more pressure for their support without the financial support of the local authority.

2. Create a new service In-House: KCC to deliver countywide via new Team.

 

· A procurement process will not be required.

·Shorter timescale for implementation.

·     TUPE of staff from the existing provider into KCC headcount.

·     Flexibility of an external provider lost.

·     KCC has previously delivered this service, there is a lack of expertise and direct experience.

·     Wider partners may not wish to engage with the local authority for workforce development

 

3. Externally commission a new service.

·      Ability to work with partners to develop a new provision

·      VCS benefit from long-standing community relationships which supports uptake of provision.

·      Robust contract management will be in place to monitor performance.

 

·     A procurement process will be required.

·     Longer timescale for implementation.

·       TUPE implications would apply in specific circumstances

 

 

Risks

 

·   The main risk is to do nothing. The numbers of young carers requesting support has been exacerbated by Covid-19. The overarching aim of the new service will be to support young people in reconnecting back to a new normal whilst also enabling the wider workforce to offer support to build resilience.

 

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/11/2021

Decision due: Not before 30th Nov 2021 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead director: Stuart Collins

Contact: Tel: 03000 415356.

Financial implications: • This service will be funded from within the existing revenue KCC base budget reported against the Early Help and Preventative Services Key Service in the Budget Book. • The funding available is £325,500 per annum. This equates to £1,627,500 over the term of the proposed contract and extensions (three years plus one plus one).

Legal implications: • The Children and Families Act legislates that Local Authorities ensure that all Young Carers under the age of 18 are in receipt of an assessment of their needs.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) screening has been completed and has concluded that the proposed decision does not present any adverse equality impact.