Budget Proposal 2017/18: Restructure of the Youth Support, Family Resource, Help for Families and Young Carers Services
Creating a new, integrated Targeted Intervention Service
These services encompass staff and functions that are delivered as a part of the Integrated Youth Support Service, the Family Resource Service, and the service known as Help for Families, as well as the Young Carers Service.
The combined services currently employ 16.8 Full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, including qualified social workers and youth workers, alongside other highly skilled professionals.
The majority of the work within these services takes place underneath the threshold of requiring statutory intervention. The work is predominantly focussed on delivering support with the aim of avoiding any concerns escalating to a point where statutory intervention is needed. There are some statutory functions within the services which are delivered by appropriately qualified professionals who understand levels of need and risks alongside Section 17 (Children Act, 1989), as well as having the skills to meet our responsibilities under Working Together Guidance and to strengthen our Protection and Early Help provision. It also supports Young Carers alongside the expectations of the Children and Families Act and Care Act 2014.
What are we proposing?
To integrate the four service areas into one service called the Targeted Intervention Service. This new service will form part of the wider Children and Family Services and focus its support in a more targeted way on:
- Families at the risk of breakdown
- Children and Young People on the edge of care
- Families impacted by Domestic Abuse, parental mental health or parental substance misuse
- Children or Young People at risk of, or subject to, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
- Children or Young people who are reported as missing
- Children or Young People who are experiencing caring responsibilities (Young Carers)
It is estimated that this will save us £108,000 per annum, out of a combined budget of £1,114,010 and will be largely achieved through management savings to protect front line delivery as much as is possible.
What do we think the impact will be?
The likely impact of this proposal is judged upon the evidence gained through our Children and Family Services Improvement Programme. Through this service becoming more targeted there will be less provision to support lower level concerns, or offer the same longevity of support that is currently delivered within the service. It is envisaged that capacity will be built within the proposed new service, to offer support up to three months, or up to six months in particular circumstances, and focus on those areas of need which are likely to escalate to requiring statutory intervention, if targeted support is not given. This is a change from the current wider menu of support given.
Through greater focus and integration of these functions, it is proposed that our support to these specific areas of need will be strengthened and reduce the need for families to be escalated to statutory services. It is planned to ensure those with the highest needs are getting the right professional support, and to further secure our offer to Young Carers through embedding this function within a wider service.
Alongside this proposal, we have considered the current range of services available to children, young people and families within West Berkshire, the development of Health and Well Being Hubs, wider Targeted Prevention Services and the improved delivery and statutory services to children and families. We believe this proposed service will align with the current levels of support available and better focus on concerns and levels of need which, without intervention, would escalate to the involvement of statutory services.
Please refer to the Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more detail. [13kb]
What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?
We considered whether it would be appropriate to include 'The Edge', Young People's Substance Misuse Service and preventative services (currently within West Berkshire Youth Offending Service), as well as family assessment functions that are frequently required to advise legal proceedings, into the new Targeted Intervention Service. However, it was considered that in order for the service to be effective in the areas of identified need, the focus needed to be clear and if widened, would likely to dilute support from the key areas of identified concerns.
Why we would like your views
We would like to hear from you as to how this proposal could potentially impact on you and on the wider community. In particular, we would be interested in any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.
All feedback will be considered, and a final decision made by Full Council at the meeting on 2 March 2017. Following this, the results and your anonymised response will be published on this page.
Please note: Twitter and Facebook posts will not be considered as a valid response.
This consultation is now closed.