Members updated on the positive outcomes being delivered by the Placement Services Change Programme within Highland
Members of Wednesday’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee received an update on the progress on the Placement Services Change Programme from the Executive Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care directorate, Fiona Duncan.
The programme was initially set-up to return Looked After Children from Out of Area Placements to ensure that children and young people were living in their local community receiving the help and support they need, whilst maintaining contact with families and friends.
Committee members were informed that since 2018, 53 young people have been able to return to the Highlands. Highland Council is now at the lowest level in over 8 years with only 18 children being looked after out of area. This has been a result of working closely with social work, housing, education and health colleagues to ensure that appropriate resources are available within the Highlands which meet the needs of young people.
Highland Council is now looking at how children and young people, where appropriate, can continue to remain living at home. This package of work will involve improved engagement and working with families – including extended families – and provision of ‘wrap around support’ through making the appropriate support available both during the day and at night and weekends.
Additionally, as part of a wider redesign being undertaken within the Service and taking on board the key components of The Promise, officers are actively looking at how to improve the service so that more children remain in the family home.
Chair of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor Linda Munro, said: “During the past year, staff across the health and social care directorate have worked tirelessly to ensure that the children, families and adults we work with have received the support they need. At the heart of this, we strive to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. We must also remember that many of these significant successes have in fact been achieved during the course of the pandemic, alongside routine and statutory duties.
She concluded: “Our network of kinship, fostering and adoption, as well as residential care in the Highlands will all be critical factors in helping to keep children safe, loved and nurtured. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff, who I wish to sincerely thank for their efforts.”