In addition to the support mentioned in quality standard 4 we also support people through the following schemes:
Conwy Connect Friendship Group: The Friendship Group is open to all adults with a learning disability living in North Wales and provides support with social activities. Examples of activities organised include speed dating, discos, walks, trips to the cinema or theatre.
Connect buddies: The aim is to buddy up volunteers with individuals that have a learning disability to go to events with them such as the theatre, pubs, clubs and music gigs.
Transport: The service provides support for day services and supports individuals to access shops and networks/group activities. This promotes independence, encourages mobility and social interaction.
Access to financial advice and help
When a care assessment is undertaken, the social worker will explain about the financial implications and the cost of care. Information is also available on our website. A referral is made to our welfare rights team to consider whether the full benefit entitlement is in payment.
This is followed by a financial assessment which considers the level of contribution a Service User is able to afford towards their care. The level of an individual’s contribution is determined using guidance from Welsh Government under the Socials Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014.
We also have specialist advisors for people leaving care, and we have a specific role to support families and young people under the age of 25 which complements the current team by supporting individuals with additional needs.
Access to services in Welsh and other languages of choice
A person’s preferred language is determined during the What Matters Conversation as part of the active offer. Any subsequent correspondence or assessment is undertaken in their preferred language. In Conwy, we do find the provision of services in the language of choice challenging, particularly where provision is outsourced. However, our Service Level Agreements now include a statement around welsh language and we are trying to increase welsh speakers as part of the recruitment process. Our intention is to increase the Active Offer, and our 3 Year Action Plan considers the objectives of the framework. Welsh language is promoted via email and lanyards including welsh learner lanyards. In addition, Conwy has the ‘Cysillt’ programme available to staff. It is felt that Conwy are ahead in terms of the bilingual master’s course available through Bangor University
Access to living accommodation
Corporate Parenting’ strategy
With our partners, we have developed a ‘Corporate Parenting’ strategy. This sets out Conwy’s vision and plans for fulfilling its duties and responsibilities as the Corporate Parent for all Children Looked After in Conwy, and links into a number of important documents.
For ‘Corporate Parenting’ to replicate the quality of care afforded by a ‘’good parent’’, each agency and professional involved needs to consider how they can be proactive, within their own remit, on behalf of looked after children, and for all agencies to strive for strong collaborative working so that the whole of the ‘corporate parent’ can be greater than the sum of its parts.
The Corporate parenting responsibility is shared by the Council as a whole. All members, not just those with an interest in Children’s Services, are ‘Corporate Parents’. All Members have a legitimate mandate to ask ‘’would this be good enough for my child?”
The Strategy that sets out the high standards which we aim to achieve as Corporate Parents, and identifies the seven pledges that have been prioritised:
- Early Intervention and Prevention
- Leaving Care.
Our ambition is to improve significantly the life chances of the children and young people we care for and to ensure that our strategy contributes to the seven key pledges within the Corporate Strategy 2016-2019. As with all other citizens across the County, Children Looked After are entitled to opportunities which will improve their health and wellbeing, provide them with support when they are in need, and ensure they grow up prepared for the future. We recognise the diversity of children and young people in our care and will make sure that individual needs in terms of their different ages, ethnicities, faiths, genders, and sexual orientation and disabilities are met.
Whilst a child or young person is in our care and being looked after, we want their experiences to be positive and enjoyable, allowing them to feel secure, be healthy and learn – to provide them with stable foundations for the rest of their lives.
Disability Accommodation Strategy
The Disability Accommodation Strategy is looking to review all those placed in 24/7 projects – which accounts for the majority of clients. The aim is to consider appropriateness, future need, and use of resources with a view to creating efficiencies and increase focus on outcomes. One option is to look at patch-based provision.
When I’m ready
When I’m Ready was launched in April, with key action identified during the October review relating to developing training for foster carers and staff, embedding the tenancy agreement and embedding the key processes with finance.
This scheme is important as it enables young people to access further support until they are better placed to move on. We are working with Housing to identify early on any potential accommodation needs so that the transition may be well planned. Priorities for next year will be to have a formal review of the When I am Ready scheme and we are going to undertake this locally and a regional workshop is in the process of been coordinated.
In Conwy we have a corporate project looking at accommodation needs of young people aged 16-25. We are adopting the positive pathway model, which will focus on 5 key areas.
The Vulnerable People Service worked closely with social housing providers, Wales and West to establish the Kickstart support programme, which offers a four-bedroomed house for younger people (aged 18-30) and 6 individual one-bedroomed flats with the aim of helping vulnerable people gain the skills they need to be independent, deal with everyday life and then go on to live in their own home. It is part of an affordable housing scheme in Abergele and has support staff on hand to assist the residents reach their independence.
The scheme opened in 2016 and has been full ever since. Having a safe and welcoming home environment is of great benefit to the residents and is a fundamental aspect of being able to move towards life goals and independent living. The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant AM, toured the scheme in December 2016 and was impressed with the development and the young people in the house were able to describe the impact moving to Kickstart has had on their lives.
One resident, who has just turned 20, had been in 17 different homes before moving into the scheme and had struggled with many aspects of life. He stated, “it can be difficult sometimes just going to the shops but since I’ve been here I’ve settled down and can go out and see my friends and family. I’ve just passed my NVQ level 2 in Performing Arts at Coleg Llandrillo”.
Sufficient appropriate housing is a key pressure within the service and working with our social housing partners on schemes such as Kickstart has an enormous benefit in offering appropriate placements to both care leavers and Vulnerable People Service users. Having continuous support on site ensures that people can be given the life skills needed to live independently and residents have already moved on to their own flats as a consequence of their Kickstart placement.
Going forward in 2018 we aim to continue working with social landlords in maintaining the Kickstart scheme and look for other opportunities to replicate this housing model elsewhere so that service users can be supported to achieve their aspirations, be independent and connected to their communities.
Canolfan Marl Development
We are currently utilising ICF Capital funding towards the refurbishment of Canolfan Marl. This will provide a Disabilities Resource Centre, a Disabilities OT Assessment Unit, and nine Disabilities Independent Living Apartments. There will also be office and welfare facilities for the staff care team who will be available to support those living in the apartments as well as operating as an outreach service to others living in the wider community.
A family were requesting support to move house due to the need to help their child with physical disabilities during the night and difficulties with their current accommodation. Parents were having to take turns to sleep in the same room as their child. A Telecare alarm button and care assist pager were issued so the child is now able to summon assistance at night without having to have someone physically in the room. The family have not had to move (it is anticipated that this would have taken some time) so can maintain existing support networks in the community, schools etc. The parents are able to sleep in the same room, and the child has an improved sense of independence.
Supporting performance data for this quality standard
People reporting that they live in the right home for them
84% of adults agree that their home supports their well-being. The additional comments overwhelmingly demonstrate that citizens are keen to remain in their own homes as long as possible and that adaptations such as showers, wheelchair access and ramps assist with that. Where people wish to move, they would prefer a bungalow so that stairs are no longer an issue.
88% of adults with a learning disability share this view; many live at home with parents/other family.
78% of carers feel that their homes best support their well-being, with additional comments referring to the need for a bungalow and adaptations to ease medical conditions and mobility restrictions. Again, with support, many are happy to stay in their own homes.
Children and young people reporting that they are happy with whom they live with
85% of children report being happy with the people they live with.
People reporting they have received care and support through their language of choice
95% of adults reported being able communicate in their preferred language, increasing to 97% in adults with a learning disability, 98% amongst carers and 100% for children.
Young adults reporting they received advice, help and support to prepare them for adulthood
Of those who responded from this age group, all agreed with the statement. One commented that they do their own research ‘which wouldn’t be biased’ in order to reach their own conclusions.
People reporting they chose to live in a residential care home
From the adults cohort, 76 people indicated that they live in a residential care home. Of these, 47 agreed that it was their choice to live there, representing 62%. 22% felt that this was not their decision.
Within the adults with a learning disability cohort, 12 indicated that they live in a residential care home. 50% of those felt that this was their choice, with 25% feeling that someone else made the decision on their behalf.
- The percentage of all care leavers who are in education, training or employment at 12 months and 24 months after leaving care is 50% and 44%.
- The percentage of all care leavers who have experienced homelessness during the year is 17.11%