Agenda item

Commissioning of Supported Accommodation: Children's Services

(To receive a report from Amy Allcock, Senior Commissioning Officer, which invites the Committee to consider the Commissioning of Supported Accommodation: Children's Services, which is due to be considered by the Executive on 1 October 2019)


Consideration was given to a report from Amy Allcock, Senior Commissioning Officer, which was due to be considered by the Executive on 1 October 2019.


Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a copy of the Executive report and associated Appendices.


The Vice-Chairman welcomed to the meeting Amy Allcock, Senior Commissioning Officer, Mark Rainey, Interim Strategic Commissioning Manager and Andrew Morris, Corporate Parenting Manager.


The Committee was advised that the Council had a statutory duty to ensure that Looked After Children up to the age of 18 were accommodated appropriately; to support Care Leavers to access suitable accommodation up to the age of 21; and to assess the needs of homeless 16/17 year olds in their area, and to ensure that they had access to suitable accommodation where applicable.


It was reported that the current contract with Lincolnshire Support Partnership due to end on 30 June 2020 could not be extended.  The value of the contract was £989,485.  Details of other contracts commissioned by the Council relating to Housing Related Supported Services, also due to end in June 2020 were shown on page 30 of the report.


The Committee was advised that the proposed commissioning approach for the Youth Housing Service would provide the opportunity to undertake a procurement exercise to test the current supplier marketplace.  The proposed integrated model would provide efficiencies against the current spot purchase methodology for Intense Needs Supported Accommodation and would enable the vast majority of supported accommodation to be delivered in County, which would then enable Lincolnshire young people to access local services; and avoid the requirement for the Children Services workforce to travel out of County to undertake statutory reviews.


It was also highlighted that the proposed integrated model provided the potential for step-up and step-down provision within the same service to fully respond to the changing needs of the cohort of young people and to provide support to them in order for them to achieve their full potential.


The report advised that the new service model would be conducted through an open competitive tender process, with an indicative budget of £1.613m.  It was highlighted that the recommendation was that the contract should be awarded for five years (3+ a maximum of two years extension) and that the contract would commence on 1 July 2020.


During discussion, the Committee raised the following comments:-


·         Support was given to the new service model, as it would generate a £182,000 saving plus provide a better service for young people. In addition, it would virtually eliminate the need to spot purchase Intense Needs Supported Accommodation (INSA) which was very costly for the Council; 

·         The 72 units of supported accommodation to be commissioned within Youth Housing along with the 10 units of in-house provision would meet the demand for accommodation by homeless 16/17 year olds, Looked After Children and Care Leavers up to 21 years old, and could be provided within the proposed budget;

·         With regards to young people's increasingly complex needs, early identification, intervention and engagement was key along with providing wraparound support to manage their complex needs effectively;

·         District Councils were working together and with Lincolnshire County Council to ensure there was capacity to meet young people's housing needs and that there was a consistent approach. The Housing Delivery Group had representatives from all district councils and accommodation for young people was high up on the agenda;

·         Young people had been consulted with as part of the stakeholder engagement process through several engagement days, which some councillors also attended;

·         It was important for young people to stay within the county so that links with their family, friends and the community could be maintained; and

·         Concern was raised that young people were being told they had mental health issues, when in fact what they were experiencing was normal such as anxiety of life and exam pressure. Some young people saw it as normal and a badge of honour to have a label. The negative effect of social media on young people's mental health was also highlighted as a concern.




1.    That the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee supported the recommendations to the Executive as set out in the report.


2.    That the comments as detailed above be passed to the Executive to consider when making a decision in relation to this item.

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