The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report, in order to:
· Request approval to be part of a tender process, within the Cwm Taf Morgannwg region, for a regional Multi Agency Permanence Support Service (MAPSS) for Children and Young People who are looked after, or with a plan for adoption, and enter into a regional collaboration agreement; and
· Seek authorisation to delegate authority for the Head of Children’s Social Care to represent Bridgend County Borough Council and make decisions within the Children’s Regional Project Board, which will provide governance for the regional Multi Agency Permenance Support Service.
She explained that the Multi Agency Permanence Support Service (MAPSS) offers an assessment to identify a child’s needs and provides a range of therapeutic interventions and strategies to children and their carers, supporting the child to process traumatic and difficult life experiences.
The Institute of Public Care (IPC) review was commissioned by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Children’s Project Board, to review the mental health and wellbeing needs of children who are looked after, and a business case was developed to identify service requirements and support an application for Integrated Care Fund (ICF) funding.
Turning to the present situation, the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing, confirmed that if a child who is looked after or adopted requires an assessment or any form of therapeutic services, Bridgend currently sources this provision through spot purchasing arrangements which are costly and time consuming, and quality and outcomes for the child can be variable.
She explained that, following the IPC review and the identified need for such a service across the region, it is being proposed to procure the MAPSS regionally with Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC, Merthyr Tydfil CBC and Bridgend.
The new service will appoint a specialist provider to help create a holistic, multi-disciplinary ‘therapeutic intervention’ service to support placement stability and achieve positive outcomes to children with the highest needs through joint working, robust assessments and a suite of therapeutic options.
BCBC officers have worked with regional partners to develop the service specification for the procurement of the service provider and will participate in the tender process and evaluation panel. Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC will act as Lead Authority for the regional procurement exercise.
Robust performance measures shall be included in the tender documents to assess the short, medium and long term outcomes in order to demonstrate achievement and value for money. It is proposed that the service contract shall be for 3 years.
The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing concluded her submission, by advising that a collaboration agreement between the region will be established to set out how RCTCBC, BCBC and Merthyr Tydfil CBC shall work together and offer support to the service provider to deliver the service fully. Approval has been sought from the Corporate Procurement Manager to this arrangement.
The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help, advised that this was a very important initiative and was an Action Point in the Social Services 5 Year Delivery Plan. The funding would provide essential support to vulnerable children, including for therapeutic interventions that would also provide invaluable support to help mitigate those young people who had experienced perhaps, a prolonged adverse childhood.
The Leader echoed this and was very pleased with the £2m worth of funding provided by Welsh Government in support of the Project.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
1. Approved BCBC entering into a regional collaboration agreement with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council for the provision of MAPSS;
2. Delegated authority to the Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing in consultation with the Interim Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer and Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services to agree the terms of the regional collaboration agreement and any ancillary agreements and to arrange execution of the regional collaboration agreement on behalf of the Council, subject to such delegated authority being exercised in consultation with the Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services.
3. Approved BCBC being part of the regional procurement exercise to commission a service provider to provide the MAPSS, with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council acting as lead authority for the procurement and to note that approval to award the regional MAPSS service contract will be sought via delegated powers (under BCBC’s Scheme of Delegation) once the procurement and evaluation process has been undertaken; and
4. Delegated authority for the Head of Children’s Social Care to represent and make decisions for BCBC as part of the Regional Project Board.