Agenda item

Lincolnshire Leaving Care Service Annual Report

(To receive a report from Lisa Adams, Service Manager, Barnardo's Leaving Care Services, which invites the Corporate Parenting Panel to review and comment on the Lincolnshire Leaving Care Service Annual Report)


The Panel received a report from Lisa Adams, Service Manager, Barnardo's Leaving Care Services, which invited comments on the Lincolnshire Leaving Care Service Annual Report.


The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Lisa Adams, Service Manager, Barnardo's and Kerry Mitchell, Assistant Director, Barnardo's.


The Panel was advised that the current contract for the Lincolnshire County Council's Leaving Care Service was delivered by Barnardo's.  It was highlighted that the current contract would be in place until 31 March 2020.


In guiding the Panel through the report particular reference was made to: accessing and maintaining suitable, safe accommodation.  It was highlighted that the service offered advice, support and assistance in accommodation options for the over 18's.  It was reported that Barnardo's now had a dedicated Accommodation Worker who helped young people at 18 to register for social housing and to navigate through the bureaucracy attached to having a property.  The Officer was also supporting young people applying for supported accommodation through the Avenue and Youth Housing; creating a portfolio of information regarding social and private provision; working very closely with providers to improve how the Lincolnshire Leaving Care Service shared information prior to allocation; and acting as a single point of contact between providers and the Leaving Care service. 


The Panel noted that Barnardo's had recently commissioned a review of the Lincolnshire Supported Lodgings Scheme to ensure that it remained a flexible and viable option for a number of young people transitioning into adulthood.  It was noted further that the scheme had seen some brilliant outcomes with 23 placements at the moment.


Details relating to accessing Education, Employment and Training opportunities were shown on pages 83 and 84 of the report.  The Panel was advised that the Care Leavers Apprenticeship Scheme and the Work Preparation and Work Experience Scheme continued to offer Lincolnshire Care Leavers a pathway into work and financial self-sufficiency.  Details of bespoke packages of support were shown on page 83 of the report.  It was highlighted that currently there were 10 young people attending university.  Page 84 of the report provided information as to the role of the Leaving Care Worker.


The Panel was advised that Barnardo's had hosted a national event in March 2019 to which two young people from Lincolnshire had been given the opportunity to attend and have professional photographs taken and produce some videos for the event.  It was noted that the young people had then attended a dinner, with the support from staff from the service; and the supported lodgings scheme.  The Panel was advised further that two nominations had also been put forward from the Lincolnshire Leaving Care Service for the Excellence Awards Ceremony held in London in December 2018.  The Panel was advised that the Supported Lodgings Team had made it to the 'Top 3' for the Impact Award and that a young carer had been nominated and was subsequently awarded the 'Young Achiever Award' for the East Region.


The Service was also looking to expand the opportunities to work with young people both in Lincolnshire and with the group of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking young people living in Peterborough.


The reported highlighted that from April 2018, all Leaving Care Services across the UK had been asked to extend Personal Advisor Support for all 21-25 year olds, which had included all the young people who had previously been closed to the service, but fell within the age range.  It was noted that the extension to the service had been quickly picked up and an additional staffing resource was now taking this piece of work forward.


During discussion, the Panel raised the following points:-


·         That Barnardo's was able to replicate the normal parent/child relationship even when the young person was living independently or out of the scope of help from Barnardo's;

·         What could be done more to encourage private landlords to have more understanding of Care Leavers.  Reassurance was given that in most cases with help from the Accommodation Worker, there were very few situations when a solution could not be found.  It was also highlighted that some young people chose to live in unsuitable accommodation; in these instances Barnardo's would constantly review them.  The Panel was advised that the Corporate Parenting Manager was looking at how best to create a housing forum that pulled together a number of providers who

·         could then offer greater choice and range of support for Looked After Children and Care Leavers; and

·         Availability of Offices – The Panel noted that due to the rural nature of Lincolnshire, offices were based in Lincoln, Louth, Peterborough and Sleaford.  The Panel noted further that it was more economical for officers to travel, rather than to acquire any further office space.




That the Lincolnshire Leaving Care Service Annual Report be received.

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