Any Other Business
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Brendan Lee, who will be the new Head of Service for Children Looked After and Care Leavers gave an overview on what work has been done during lockdown.
The Board were encouraged to watch the video below of care leavers experiences throughout this pandemic.
Roxanne McAllister, Children's Social Care Team Manager gave an update on how colleagues had called-in to young people just for a chat, nothing formal which had been received really well with young people and it has been proven that this has developed more meaningful relationships between young people and their workers.
Young people have kept themselves up to date with what has been happening throughout COVID-19 and following guidance and changes when announced and have been really responsible which is a credit to them.
In terms of what has been happening with support, all young people were risk assessed to see who needed face to face support and who could be contacted over the phone. This had to be balanced with keeping young people safe as well as the care workers whilst ensuring that social distancing guidelines were adhered to along with making sure young people did not feel isolated throughout and to support them and be there for them as much as possible.
Extra financial help has been available for young people and personal advisors have been shopping for them and making sure they have everything they need. Lots of social engagement work has taken place on social media, video diaries, games, online activity days, a cook-a-long session virtually making vegetable lasagne. These are just some of the ways staff have been interacting with young people.
Housing has been a particular challenge during this time due to landlords not letting accommodation. Housing protocols for care leavers are being produced and also there are also plans to expand the housing offer and working is underway with Procurement on this.
A Mental Health Strategy is also in the process of being written and engagement from stakeholders is being sought to enable a multi-agency approach to support our young people and ensure this piece of work is bespoke for care leavers.
Some big strategic pieces of work that will need to be brought to future Corporate Parenting Boards are:
· Housing and working with District Councils to ensure there is an offer which is not only equitable but that quality housing is provided for our care leavers and improves lives and has an impact on them too.
· Work on Homeless protocols.
· ASDAN work.
· Delivering a different leaving care service going forward.
· Ensuring all staff are upskilled to support young people/care leavers in mental health and development an Improvement Plan.
Brendan and Roxanne were thanked for their update.
Date of decision: 22/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 22/07/2020 - Corporate Parenting Board