This document considers a reconfiguration possible with a recognition and realisation of high level needs as a conceptual framework in social care placements.
It re-configures the recent DfE publication regarding SEND, ‘Sustainable high needs systems’, and identifies lessons for social care and especially RCC.
- The concept of high level needs should be adopted by social care
- Recognition of the full range of needs is required
- Children are not units, nor are children’s homes ‘units’.
- Sustainable and effective high needs systems in social care should be a priority of local authority leadership.
- Goals of a sustainable high needs system
- In contrast to deficit reduction in social care the focus is on needs analysis, assessment, planning provision, so that every child has the most appropriate placement.
- It is getting the right placement first time that is effective and efficient.
- Serial placements and hierarchical use of placements as now is ineffective and inefficient.
- There needs to be recognition that local authorities have now too long not been providers for high level needs and the expertise is within the provider sector.
- Establishing regional shared values, shared vision.
- As the Loughborough cost calculator work shows it is not an efficient or effective for a child to move many times
- The most effective and efficient use of high level needs provision comes when knowing it is getting the right placement first time that is effective and efficient.
- The use of early intervention is not a diversion or substitute for high level needs provision.
- The origin of high level needs are often dissimilar to those for early intervention occurring more suddenly and later in childhood.
- It is both that need dedicated funding.
- It is planning not markets that delivers efficient, sustainable and appropriate meeting of need.
- Achieving the goals
- Early intervention focus
- Increased Edge of Care/Children in Need services
- Review assessment processes and thresholds
- Culture change and work with leaders
- All parties are connected in relational rather than transactional working.
- Appropriate and thorough provision mapping, with potential development of more local provision
- Lack of or inappropriate matching accounts for a proportion of costs.
- It is vital there is mapping of local, regional and national provision.
- This should not be set by the local authority but a specification developed together. Co-think, co-create and then co-produce.
- This takes time. Changing an established pattern of provision is a long-term process rather than a rapid change, given the importance of continuity for children and young people.
Please click link below to download the report:
NCERCC As local as possible and as specialist as necessary reconfiguring, recognising realising high level social care needs conceptual framework