Getting a “When I Am Ready” (WIR) scheme set up by 1st April 2016
Each Local Authority had to prepare a WIR scheme by the 1st April 2016. Significant regional and local work has been developed in order to prepare for this new duty.
Creating an Accommodation and Support Strategy for Leaving Care
We have insufficient suitable accommodation / support for some Care Leavers and we need to reduce the number of temporary Bed and Breakfast accommodation that we access for Care Leavers and build a portfolio of placements based on the revised needs analysis and Strategy.
Challenges within the integrated delivery of secondary mental health services.
Secondary mental health services in Conwy remain challenging around the interface with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
This has been heightened during the period of special measures that the Health Board are subject to and their interim staff structures.
There are multiple issues regarding variance in access and management procedures – of differing models of Home Treatment Services and access to in-patient beds.
Recording and communication of patient records has also been an area of concern and the future integrated Health and Social Care IT system should help this. .
Significant work has been undertaken to ensure robust commissioning processes are now embedded in practice ensuring the Social Care budget sees a reduction in the current overspend going forward.
Social Care’s Vulnerable People’s service is working with the Continuing Health Care team within the Health Board to develop a Section 117 protocol which will determine the appropriate levels of funding to be apportioned mutually.
Following a spike in the number of suicides over the period leading up to 2015 a critical incident review highlighted serious concerns.
In response to the concerns a joint improvement meeting was established for managers within Health and Social Care which has produced positive changes in supervision and induction.
However fundamental and systemic issues remain a barrier to secondary mental health services working optimally currently.
Changes to reporting requirements
The new Act has introduced a major overhaul of the performance information we collect in social care. We will now be required to report on 5 sections of information relating to adults social care:
- Performance measures that consider things like meeting statutory timescales
- Assessments – the number of people we asses at different stages
There are 4 sections addressing social care for children:
- Performance Measures
- Care and Support
- Child Protection
The challenges this brings includes making sure we record all the information required to gather these data sets, writing new reports to extract the right information from our database, and testing, to ensure the data is robust. Along with this, we are consulting with key stakeholders to ensure they know about and understand the changes.
We are also discussing with our colleagues which of the old measures we can leave behind, which ones we need to keep, and which of the new ones we’ll need to drill down for further information, to enrich our intelligence.
There is also a qualitative aspect to the information collected, which will require significant resource to coordinate.
Challenges over the coming year for Family Support & Intervention
With the implementation of the SSWBA, Family Support and Intervention service (FS&I) faces the significant challenge of mobilizing existing resources to comply with the principles of the ‘preventative agenda’. Prevention in the first instance refers to the challenges presented in empowering families to make changes initially through Information, Advice and Assistance and whilst FS&I will not necessarily lead on these services there will be an important interface to develop with partner agencies, particularly Team around the Family (TAF), Youth Justice, Education and Health.
When families present with assessed needs requiring managed care, FS&I will be required to provide effective care and support packages with the aim to facilitate change and progression with clear outcome based results preventing an escalation through the services to ‘high end’ interventions through child protection and care proceedings.
When care proceedings present as inevitable FS&I are committed to explore every option to place children within a family environment first and foremost with family & friends and only when this is not possible through Foster Care and adoption.
In order to respond effectively to the changes in legislation and codes of practice the service will need to internally review existing resources and develop a skilled workforce to meet the challenge and promote the principles of prevention and empowerment. Including in the service plan to deliver change:
- Develop simple and complex assessment processes locally and contribute to regional and national developments
- Care and Support packages are implemented according to assessed need
- Review current structure to ensure that workforce is deployed effectively to meet needs of the children and their families to maximise opportunities for positive change
- Upskill workforce to deliver effective interventions and work with families through outcome based and partnership approaches
- Develop participation tools to ensure that the customer voice is heard and responded to and can inform practice and service delivery
- Develop partnership forums with partner agencies in order to strengthen integrated working
- Continually evaluate and review effectiveness of the service and interventions
The most significant challenge for a social care workforce will inevitably be to make capacity to take the time out of every day work schedules, for reflection and consideration of new practice initiatives to respond to the needs of the service users within a changing landscape. As an evolving service we need to assume a collective responsibility to ensure that this element of development can be facilitated through models of supervision, team days and service development opportunities.
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