Publication - Strategy/plan

Getting it right for looked after children and young people strategy

Published: 26 Nov 2015
Directorate:
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
9781785448386

This strategy sets out what we are doing and what we expect other corporate parents to do.

Getting it right for looked after children and young people strategy
Annex A: Summary of actions

Annex A: Summary of actions

Early Engagement

Actions:

  • We expect CPPs to consider how to use a joint strategic commissioning approach to ensure the right services are available to meet the needs of children and families in their area.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Roll out the RCS programme to support a minimum of six CPPs by 2017.
  • Share data and learning from the RCS programme with CPPs.

Actions:

  • We expect local authorities to work with other corporate parents to design and implement the services that are needed in their area for children who are at risk of being looked after.
  • We expect CPPs to ensure that services are available to children and families on a voluntary basis to ensure that compulsory measures are not recommended in order to access services. This should include, where appropriate, active use of Part 12 services.

The Scottish Government will

  • Work with key stakeholders around Part 12 of the Act to ensure it complements self-directed support provisions and Parts 3, 4 and 5 of the Act relating to Children's Services Planning, Named Person and Child's Plan.

Actions:

  • We expect local authorities to "presume against" looked after at home status when planning interventions and when making recommendations to managers, Children's Hearings and courts, except where "at home" status is an essential part of a clear plan to remedy a short-term issue or towards permanence.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Support CPPs, through our RCS Programme, to ensure that the right services are in place to meet the needs of all children and young people in their area, including those who are looked after at home.
  • Use PACE to focus on earlier permanence for children who are looked after at home by the end of 2016.
  • Evaluate the impact on the wider system of falling numbers of children looked after at home and will collaborate with our partners on how to ensure this promotes better outcomes while reducing systemic waste.
  • Collect data on the changing profile of care placements and will publish this data for use by agencies to improve planning and practice.
  • Work with local authorities and the third sector to share best practice and initiatives.

Early Permanence

Actions:

  • We expect all local authorities to work with their partners to improve the permanence process in their area focusing on clear permanence objectives for each child, stripping out drift and delay at every step and preventing unnecessary placement moves.
  • We expect all local authorities to monitor the quality of their care planning within an overall GIRFEC approach and put in place plans for improvement where necessary.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Share the learning and extend involvement in the PACE programme. This will include a focus in at least one area on children who are looked after at home.
  • Learn from each PACE area to improve the PACE programme and how it is implemented in new areas. We will work with partners to develop a stretch aim for PACE.
  • Publish a practice note for frontline workers, local service managers and leaders in relation to care and permanence planning and develop an online resource to share learning and good practice in 2016. We will continue to provide support on care planning through the work of CELCIS.
  • Ensure that the guidance and support materials for Parts 4 and 5 of the Act support developments in care planning.
  • Publish guidance on contact and organise a series of local events to support practice on contact issues.
  • Support CHIP to take forward work on improving reports, testing improvements through PACE.

Actions:

  • We expect all local authorities to refer children and prospective adopters to Scotland's Adoption Register.
  • We expect all local authorities to ensure that families who might benefit from the KCO are aware of the order and are supported to apply for it where appropriate.
  • We expect all local authorities to implement the agreement we have reached with COSLA on kinship care allowances.
  • We expect all local authorities and foster care providers to implement new definitions of foster care placements by 2016-17.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Commence the Adoption Register Regulations by April 2016.
  • Consult on introducing a standard inter-agency fee for adoption.
  • Commence the support for kinship care provided for in the 2014 Act by April 2016.
  • Convene a working group to comprehensively evaluate a national allowance scheme for kinship and foster care.
  • Map the availability of support in relation to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and consider how to improve access for kinship carers.
  • Develop guidance and implement new definitions of foster care placements.

Actions

  • We expect all local authorities to track each child for permanence, using consistent data agreed nationally.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Work with the CELCIS PaCT team in 2015 and 2016 to support local authorities to track their looked after children for permanence.
  • Take forward recommendations of the Permanence Data working group to collect permanence data through the Children Looked After Statistics from 2016-17.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Publish research about permanence being undertaken by SCRA in 2015.
  • Identify national issues arising from the PACE programme.
  • Work with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to get better data about adoption and permanence cases.
  • Work with stakeholders to improve children's experience of the court process.
  • Work with stakeholders to review evidence about the operation of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 and the permanence process and consider whether changes are required, by the end of 2016.

Improving the quality of care

Actions:

  • In accordance with the provisions in the 2014 Act, corporate parents will:
    • listen to the views of looked after children and young people and care leavers to promote their wellbeing and improve their life chances.
    • work collaboratively with each other.
    • demonstrate the impact of their efforts regularly.
    • report in 2018 on how these duties were met since the commencement of the Act in April 2015.
  • Corporate parents should work with CELCIS which is developing a data dashboard to collate data around improvement in each area - and use this data to inform continuous improvement activity.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Support corporate parents to develop their plans of how they will meet their duties.
  • Work with CELCIS and corporate parents to establish how best to record and report on outcomes in anticipation of the first report to Parliament in April 2018.
  • For the next year, continue to fund Who Cares? Scotland to deliver Corporate Parenting Training, including through an online resource.
  • Provide funding to CELCIS for a health adviser post to provide support and assistance to specific Health Boards on reforming the way they support looked after children.
  • Publish a Looked After Children Data Strategy.

Actions:

  • All corporate parents should positively encourage young people to exercise their right to remain in care and take up aftercare or continuing care support when the timing suits their needs.
  • All corporate parents should amend their policies to strongly discourage young people from leaving care before the age of 18 at the earliest.
  • Corporate parents in a position to influence young people and/or Children's Hearing panels should "presume against" recommending the ending of a compulsory supervision order around the child's 16 th birthday unless continuing the compulsory supervision order would lead to a significant and negative impact on the young person's wellbeing.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Establish a Working Group on Additional Support for Care Leavers during 2015 and work with partners to develop a return to care policy which is workable and in a timescale that is realistic.
  • Publish non-statutory guidance on aftercare and continuing care by the end of 2015.

Actions:

  • We expect stakeholders to work collaboratively in support of developing a National Mentoring Scheme, initially focused on children and young people aged 8-14 years, who are looked after at home.

The Scottish Government will:

  • Work closely with our stakeholders, the SSSC, CELCIS and COSLA to develop the degree qualification or residential workers, engaging and involving residential workers at all levels.
  • Develop a National Mentoring Scheme to deliver high quality mentoring to children and young people within local communities.

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