The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report which updated Cabinet on:
The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing explained that it was a priority to ensure the safe reduction of Looked after Children (LAC) but it was equally as important that all children had access to timely assessments therapeutic interventions and accommodation care and support.
The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing outlined the current situation as indicated in section 4 of the report. She outlined the designs and plans for the proposed new development for the specially designed and purpose-built Children’s Placement Hub, from which the newly implemented service model can be effectively delivered.
She outlined t Capital funding totalling £2.25 million has been secured for the development of the new Hub, broken down as below:
· A BCBC Capital Bid of £600k has been approved, which was originally included in the Capital Programme for 2018/19, and subsequently rolled forward as a result of the delays outlined above;
· £750k has been ringfenced from BCBC earmarked reserves; and
· BCBC have also been allocated ICF (Integrated Care Fund) Capital Funding of £900k, made up of £164k in 2020/21 and £736k in 2021/22.
The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing explained that additional funding had been applied for from regional ICF in order to fund the furnishings required. She added Implementing the new model had already resulted in recurrent MTFS savings of £245k, and the service was fully committed to the new model in the expectation that additional savings could be made in the future, as well as enabling a reduction in the dependence on high-cost Out-of-County placements.
The Cabinet Member Social Services and Early Help welcomed the report and expressed her pride in having a facility like this in the county. She explained that these children have had a wide range of experiences traumas and the new facility will provide the best setting for them and allow them to be catered to in a holistic, therapeutic and child centred way.
The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations asked for further information on the community engagement involved of this scheme.
The Head of Children’s Social Care explained that plans were discussed with local Members and further plans were being made for discussion with the local residents and wider community. She added that a press release was issued and discussions with the developer had occurred and they had stated that further information via leaflets would be provided to local residents to outline the start dates and other milestones relating to the work. She added that the local MS and MP were also consulted and they supported the scheme.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
· Noted the contents of this report; and
· Approved for the Head of Children’s Social Care (in their capacity as Responsible Individual for the service) to oversee and monitor the implementation of the plans as set out in this report