April 2005


 

Foreword

This is the third Children’s Services Plan developed by the Western Area Children and Young People's Committee. It sets out the main issues affecting children and young people regarded as vulnerable or in need and the key result areas which the Plan seeks to address. The planning process has drawn together a wide range of knowledge, skill and expertise from the voluntary, community and statutory sectors, and has gained from increasing consultation with children, young people and their parents about what makes a difference to them.

The Children and Young People’s Committees across the four Health Board areas in Northern Ireland have collaborated in addressing key policy issues that have arisen in relation to children. Common approaches to information-gathering have been designed to support the development of better inter-agency planning and delivery. The four Committees have embraced the outcomes-based approach and have developed a series of outcome statements, describing the life we would like for all children in Northern Ireland. Further discussion is being undertaken with Government Departments in an effort to include an outcomes approach in the development of strategies for children.

The Western Area Children and Young People's Committee is currently drawing up a more detailed Action Plan, describing implementation measures for 2005/2006. This Action Plan will be the basis for the reviews of the Children’s Services Plan in 06/07 and 07/08.

In the next three years, it is our hope that the planning being carried out through this Children’s Services Plan will result in better outcomes for children and young people in the Western Board area.

Western Area Children and Young People’s Committee

Prof D Burke (Chair), DSC, WHSSB

Ms S McCaul, SEO, WELB

Ms C Boyle, Derry Children’s Commission

Ms D McGuinness, Lifestart Foundation

Ms M Boyle, Derry Travellers Support Group

Mrs S McIntyre, Service Planner, WHSSB

Mr J Doherty, DSC, Foyle HSS Trust

Mr E McTernan, CSP (PSW), WHSSB

Ms P Leeson, Director, Children in Northern Ireland

Mr A O’Neill, Director, Youth Justice Agency

Insp C Mackie, Police Service NI

Mr A Rooke, ACPO, PBNI

Mr S Mackie, AM, NIHE

Ms J Ross, PSW, Westcare Business Services

Ms B Macqueen, Dry Arch Centre, Dungiven

Mr V Ryan, DCC, Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust

Mr G Matthewson, Principal, Holy Family Primary School


 

 

The Western Area Children and Young People’s Committee welcomes comments, views, and opinions about the Children’s Services Plan.

If you wish to convey your views about:

            - content

            - how the information is laid out

            - what is missing

            - ideas for further development

            - criticisms

            - how the Plan can be improved

 

please contact:

Eamon McTernan

Principal Social Worker (Children’s Services Planning)

Western Health and Social Services Board

Area Board Headquarters

15 Gransha Park

Clooney Road Telephone: 028 71 860086

Derry BT47 6FN Fax: 028 71 860311

e-mail: eamon.mcternan@whssb.n-i.nhs.uk

The Children’s Services Plan, as well as a range of other planning documents and information about need and supply in respect of services for children and young people in the West, is available in the Western Area Children and Young People’s Committee Website at:

www.wacy-pc.org


___________________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

Contents

 

1. Introduction – ‘Regional Chapter’.........................................................................10

1.1. Outcomes for Children and Young People...............................................................10

1.2. The ‘Whole Child’ Model...........................................................................................12

1.3. The Northern Ireland Family Support Model.............................................................15

1.4. Next Steps................................................................................................................16

1.4.1. The Shape of the Children’s Services Plan..............................................................16

1.4.2. Equality and Human Rights......................................................................................17

2. The Western Area Children’s Services Plan........................................................19

2.1. Children and Young People in the Western Area – Population Data........................19

2.2. The Western Area Children and Young People’s Committee – Structure and Composition.......................................................................................................................20

2.3. Development of the Children’s Services Plan...........................................................22

2.4. Consultation on the Children’s Services Plan...........................................................23

2.5. Strategic Context......................................................................................................24

2.6. Funding the Children’s Services Plan.......................................................................25

2.7. Strategic Objectives – Western Area Children and Young People's Committee – Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008...................................................................................26

2.8. Key Result Areas......................................................................................................27

3. Building on the Strengths of Families..................................................................29

3.1. Progress to Date.......................................................................................................29

3.2. Intensive Support Strategy.......................................................................................31

3.2.1. Thresholds................................................................................................................31

3.2.2. Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust – Strategic Objective for Intensive Support Strategy...32

3.2.3. Progress to Date – Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust......................................................32

3.2.4. Project Plan – 200502006 - Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust........................................33

3.2.5. Key Result Areas – 2005-2008 - Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust.................................34

3.2.6. Foyle HSS Trust – Strategic Objective for Family Support Strategy.........................35

3.2.7. Progress to Date – Foyle HSS Trust........................................................................35

3.2.8. Key Result Areas – 2005-2008 – Foyle HSS Trust...................................................37

3.3. Preventative Strategy...............................................................................................38

3.3.1. Locality Consultation Exercise..................................................................................40

3.3.2. Strategic Objective – Family Support Preventative Group........................................45


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3.3.3. Key Result Areas 2005-2008 – Family Support Preventative Group........................46

4. Children and Young People in Public Care..........................................................50

4.1. Statistical Data..........................................................................................................50

4.2. Needs Profiling.........................................................................................................52

4.3. Residential Provision................................................................................................55

4.4. Fostering Provision...................................................................................................56

4.5. Adoption and Permanency Planning........................................................................57

4.6. Developing Support Services...................................................................................58

4.7. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008................................................................................59

4.8. Key Result Areas 2005-2008....................................................................................60

5. Disabled Children...................................................................................................62

5.1. Need – Statistical Data.............................................................................................62

5.2. The Disabled Children’s Strategy – Summary of Key Issues...................................65

5.3. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008................................................................................67

5.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008....................................................................................68

6. Children with Emotional, Behavioural, Psychological or Psychiatric Difficulties 70

6.1. Need – Statistical Data.............................................................................................70

6.2. Key Trends...............................................................................................................72

6.3. Strategic Objective 2005-2008.................................................................................73

6.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008....................................................................................74

7. Children in Need of Protection..............................................................................76

7.1. Need – Statistical Trends.........................................................................................76

7.2. Needs Profiling.........................................................................................................79

7.3. Thresholds (Trust Child Care Teams)......................................................................79

7.4. Information on Unmet Need......................................................................................80

7.5. Key Developments...................................................................................................80

7.5.1. Co-Operating to Safeguard Children........................................................................80

7.5.2. Regional ACPC Child Protection Policy and Procedures.........................................81

7.5.3. Lewis Report.............................................................................................................81

7.5.4. Western Education and Library Board Pre-School Service for Children with Special Educational Needs..............................................................................................................82

7.5.5. Schools Counselling Service....................................................................................82

7.5.6. Anti-Bullying Policy...................................................................................................83


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7.5.7. Multi-Agency Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (MASRAM)...........83

7.6. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008................................................................................83

7.7. Key Result Areas 2005-2008....................................................................................83

8. Youth Justice..........................................................................................................86

8.1. Need – Statistical Trends.........................................................................................86

8.2. Significant Developments.........................................................................................90

8.3. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008................................................................................92

8.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008....................................................................................92

9. Homelessness – Children and Families...............................................................95

9.1. Need – Statistical Trends.........................................................................................95

9.2. Developments...........................................................................................................97

9.3. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008................................................................................99

9.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008....................................................................................99

10. Sixteen Plus..........................................................................................................100

10.1. Need – Statistical Trends.......................................................................................100

10.1.1. Care Leaver Population: Current and Projected Numbers..............................100

10.1.2. Young People in the Age Band 16-17, who Present as Homeless..................103

10.2. Significant Developments.......................................................................................105

10.3. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008..............................................................................106

10.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008..................................................................................106

11. The Western Area Childcare Plan.......................................................................108

11.1. Background – the Western Area Childcare Partnership.........................................108

11.2. Need – Statistical Trends.......................................................................................109

11.3. Significant Developments/Achievements................................................................111

11.4. Funding – Childcare Partnership 2004-2005..........................................................112

11.5. Sustainability..........................................................................................................113

11.6. Sure Start...............................................................................................................115

11.7. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008..............................................................................119

11.8. Key Result Areas 2005-2008..................................................................................119

12. Domestic Violence – Children and Young People.............................................121

12.1. Need – National Trends..........................................................................................121

12.2. Key Issues..............................................................................................................124

12.3. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008..............................................................................126

12.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008..................................................................................127


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13. Children and Young People in the Travelling Community................................129

13.1. Need – National Trends..........................................................................................129

13.2. Service Proposal....................................................................................................130

14. Children and Young People’s Health and Health Services...............................132

14.1. Need – Statistical Trends.......................................................................................132

14.2. Key Developments.................................................................................................133

14.3. Current Health Priorities.........................................................................................135

14.4. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008..............................................................................136

14.5. Key Result Areas 2005-2008..................................................................................136


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Figures

 

Figure 1: Main Age Groups of Children and Young People by District Council Area..........19

Figure 2: Population of 0-17 Year-Olds by Trust Years.......................................................19

Figure 3: Population Projections (Based on 2002 Mid-Year Estimates)..............................20

Figure 4: Children’s Services Planning Model for Needs Assessment................................22

Figure 5: Data of Need and Supply for Children’s Services in the Western Area................22

Figure 6: Western Area Family Support Strategy................................................................31

Figure 7: Total Number of Children in Care in WHSSB Area 1999-2005............................50

Figure 8: Total Number of Children in Care in WHSSB Area 1999-2004............................50

Figure 9: Age/Gender Breakdown of Looked After Children at 31 March 2004...................51

Figure 10: Distribution of placements by Trust as at March 2005.......................................52

Figure 11: Current Provision of Differentiated Residential Places in Foyle Trust – March 2005..................................................................................................................................55

Figure 12: Planned Provision of Differentiated Places in Foyle Trust 2005/2006................55

Figure 13: Current Provision of Differentiated Residential Places in Sperrin Lakeland Trust - March 2005.........................................................................................................................56

Figure 14: Planned Provision of Differentiated Places in Sperrin Lakeland Trust...............56

Figure 15: Children Accommodated in Foster Care, WHSSB 1999-2005...........................57

Figure 16: Children Accommodated in Foster Care in WHSSB 1999-2005........................57

Figure 17: Adoption and Permanency Planning during 2003/2004.....................................57

Figure 18: Module V, WHSSB Child Health Surveillance System – Analysis by Council Area..........................................................................................................................................62

Figure 19: Number of Disabled Children per 1,000 of Population 0-19 as at 31 March 2004..........................................................................................................................................63

Figure 20: Children and Young People recorded on the Child Health Surveillance System by type of disability (Module V)...........................................................................................64

Figure 21: Pupils Statemented by the WELB, August 2004................................................65

Figure 22: Referrals to Trust Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams 2002-2004........70

Figure 23: Young People aged below 20 years referred to Community Mental Health Teams..........................................................................................................................................71

Figure 24: Young People under 20 years who are current clients of Community Mental Health Teams 2002-2004....................................................................................................71

Figure 25: Children and Young People Admitted to Hospital (Adult Wards) 2002-2004.....71

Figure 26: Number of Children on Child Protection Register in WHSSB Trusts at 31 March, 1996-2004...........................................................................................................................76

Figure 27: Number of Child Care Referrals which Progress to (a) Investigation and (b) Initial Case Conference 1999-2004..............................................................................................77

Figure 28: Number of Child Care Referrals in the WHSSB Area 1998-2004.......................77

Figure 29: Child Protection Investigations in the WHSSB Area 1998-2004.........................78

Figure 30: Number Referred to Case Conference in WHSSB Area 1998-2004..................78

Figure 31: Number of Children on Child Protection Register in the WHSSB Area 1996-2004..........................................................................................................................................78

Figure 32: Referrals to Juvenile Liaison 2001-2003 by District Command Unit...................86

Figure 33: Referral to Juvenile Liaison by District Council Area, by % of 10-16 Year-Old Offending............................................................................................................................87

Figure 34: Prosecutions and Pending Prosecutions in the West 2001 - 2003.....................87

Figure 35: Reasons for Referral to Juvenile Liaison at 01-02..............................................88

Figure 36: Homeless Presenters/Acceptances 1999-2004 WHSSB Area...........................95

Figure 37: Homeless Presenters/Acceptances April 2003 - March 2004 WHSSB Area......96


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Figure 38: Current Care Leaver Population.......................................................................100

Figure 39: Projected Demand 2004-2007.........................................................................101

Figure 40: 16-17 Year-Old Presenters/Awarded 2000-2003.............................................104

Figure 41: Population 0-14................................................................................................109

Figure 42: Early Years Provision, 1999 – 2004.................................................................110

Figure 43: Shortfalls per sector.........................................................................................114

Figure 44: Number of children accessing services at September 2004.............................118

Figure 45: Domestic Violence Trends 2001-2004 – WHSSB............................................121

Figure 46: Domestic Violence Trends 2001-2004 – WHSSB............................................121

Figure 47: Domestic Violence Incidents in the WHSSB Area 2003-2004..........................122

Figure 48: Western Board Women’s Aid Statistics 2003-2004..........................................124


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                   1. Introduction – ‘Regional Chapter’

There are four Children and Young People’s Committees in Northern Ireland. These Committees bring together senior representatives from Statutory, Voluntary and Community organisations, so that they can plan services for vulnerable children and young people. In each area the work of the Committee is carried out by a range of sub groups, which are also made up of representatives from Statutory, Voluntary and Community Organisations. Each Sub Group works on a different aspect of children’s lives, for example, disability, young people and crime, children in care.

All four Committees have worked together on the plans for 2005-2008. This chapter, which has been written by all four Committees, describes how planning has been approached in the same way. The later chapters reflect local strategies and targets.

The Committees have been involved in Children’s Services Planning for six years, have learnt a great deal from their experience of multi-agency collaboration and have brought this experience into this Plan. There are three common, regional themes

            �� Outcomes based on needs and rights

            �� The ‘Whole Child’

            �� Supporting Families.

                     1.1. Outcomes for Children and Young People

The aim of the four Children’s Services Plans 2005-08 is to improve the well being of vulnerable children and young people.

In order to help achieve this aim, the four Children and Young People’s Committees have together draw up nine statements which describe the life we would like for all children in Northern Ireland. Everyone in Northern Ireland, from the Government to people in communities can play a part in helping to reach these goals.

 


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Thinking about outcomes has been influenced by the British Government’s 2003 Green Paper (draft paper for proposed new law), setting out proposals for the re-organisation of services following the death of Victoria Climbié. The paper proposed that five broad objectives should drive services for children and young people:

            �� Being Healthy

            �� Staying Safe

            �� Enjoying and Achieving

            �� Making a Positive Contribution

            �� Economic Well-being

            At the same time, the Children and Young People’s Committees became aware of the results of work on outcome measurement undertaken in the USA – particularly in the State of Vermont. Both of these influences, together with a focus on the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, have resulted in the following set of proposals for outcome measures for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland.

 

 

                    1. All children and young people have a stable upbringing.

                    2. All children and families live in safe, supportive communities.

                    3. All children and young people live free from poverty.

                    4. All pregnant women, new parents and babies thrive.

                    5. All children are ready for learning and school.

                    6. All children and young people enjoy and succeed during school years.

                    7. All children and young people are involved in decisions that affect them.

                    8. All children and young people make a positive contribution that is valued.

                    9. All children and young people make a safe transition to adulthood.

 


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These Outcome Statements are not written as statistical targets – but they are Statements of Common Purpose, of aspiration and intent.

It is proposed that each Outcome will be informed by a cluster of Key Statistical Indicators (‘Feeder’ Indicators) which are drawn from all of the agencies whose work contributes to that Outcome. Thus, for example, the outcome statement that “All Children Enjoy and Succeed during school years” could draw on a range of feeder indicators which come from education, health, social services and youth justice.

The overall objective is to maximise the co-ordination of different agencies and sectors by achieving agreement on common statements of purpose. In this way each agency can make its unique contribution to the statistical profile which describes the overall state of health and well being of children and young people. Agencies, rather than measuring only their own activity, will measure their activity as a contribution to the whole.

1.2. The ‘Whole Child’ Model

In order for everyone to see the role they have to play in achieving the above outcomes for children it is vital to have a way of understanding children’s lives in the fullest possible way.

The ‘Whole Child’ Model is an attempt to establish a common way of thinking which can be agreed between agencies, between sectors (voluntary, community and statutory) and between Departments of Governments – for understanding the way in which society can impact on children, and on how children can impact on society.

Children are not passive recipients, but are active participants, and the Model maps out the influences which must all be considered when attempting to connect with the world of any child.

 


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CultureIdeologyMass MediaAll Government Departments & PoliciesLaw (International & Domestic) including RightsInformation TechnologyAdvertising


CHILD Whole Child Model

                      

Understanding these influences is all the more important when it comes to designing services that will be relevant to children who have additional needs, where these services have to become part of the everyday world of the child.

Home & Family/CarersComputer/InternetTV/AdvertisingImmediateNeighbourhoodCommunityPlay/LeisureSchoolHealthChurchPeers/FriendsExtended FamilyLocal NeighbourhoodSchool ManagementLocal Statutory AgenciesPoliceHousingWork PlaceLocal MediaFriends of FamilyCommunity & Voluntary Organisations

The Whole Child Model should be regarded as a core ‘map’ for integrated planning. It helps agencies think through how they can both promote the rights and address the needs of children and young people.

This model is made up of:

            �� The child, at the centre – acted upon by, but also – critically, acting on, all the surrounding environments;

            �� The home and family/carers – bearing in mind that children grow and move on;

            �� The environments closest to the child, such as school, church, play and leisure – and including TV and the Internet;

 


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            �� The relationships between these close environments. This is the experience which is precious and unique to each child – it will typically feature a complex and sensitive ‘mix’ of elements;

            �� Social settings that can affect the child, but in which the child does not participate directly. Some examples are local services such as health, housing, social services, community and voluntary playgroups etc;

            �� The culture and society in which the child lives. This affects the child through beliefs, attitudes and traditions. Sectarianism is an obvious example in the Northern Ireland context.

            The United Nations’ Convention of Rights of the Child establishes children’s rights within the framework of participation, protection and provision. The model addresses these areas as follows:

            �� Participation: The model points up the areas of the child’s life in which children and young people must be involved in the planning of services;

            �� Protection: This model maps all the relevant settings for a universal model of child protection, - for example, school, play area, Early Years Group, neighbourhood, friends, leisure activities – protection needs to permeate every aspect of the child’s life;

            �� Provision: The UNCRC sets out rights such as the right to education. However, in order to ensure that all children can exercise their rights, services need to be carefully planned. This is particularly important where services have to engage with children who have additional needs, and such services become part of their everyday experience. For example, the delivery of education to children whose experience has led them to reject school requires a different design from that offered in mainstream schools.

 


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LEVEL 4LEVEL 4


 

                     1.3. The Northern Ireland Family Support Model

The previous paragraphs have talked about outcomes for children and young people, and the Whole Child Model. This section addresses the supports and services that are needed for the outcomes to be achieved, starting from a position of building on the strengths of children, families and communities.

The Northern Ireland Family Support Model has been developed over the past few years, through Children’s Services Planning.

This four-tier model underpins the 2005-2008 Children’s Services Plans and continues to be the basic framework within which integrated strategies for Family Support will be developed. Making services available for vulnerable children cannot be done in isolation from planning services across the four levels.

Children in Need of RehabilitationChildren who are VulnerableAll Children & Young PeopleLEVEL 1LEVEL 1Children in Need in the CommunityNorthern Ireland Family Support Model (Hardiker)Northern Ireland Family Support Model (Hardiker)LEVEL 2LEVEL 2LEVEL 3LEVEL 3

The four Children and Young People's Committees agree that the Family Support Strategy should be developed through the work of all the Children's Services Planning

 


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sub groups, including Area Child Protection Committees and Childcare Partnerships, as well as universal services such as health and education. The role of the voluntary and community sector is critical.

The 2005-2008 Children’s Services Plans will use the Northern Ireland Family Support Model as the organising model for the development of all services.

1.4. Next Steps

                        1.4.1. The Shape of the Children’s Services Plan

The four Children’s and Young People’s Committees want to use the Children's Services Planning process to achieve better outcomes for children and young people, to address their rights and needs, by making sure that supports and services are available, across the four levels of Family Support.

So, the new process would look like this:

_________________________________________________________________________ 16 April 2005 20Is the well-being of children and young people improving?UpbringingCommunitiesPovertyInfantsPre-schoolSchool yearsParticipationContributionTransitionKey Feeder IndicatorsHealth, Social Care, Education, Youth Justice, Other Departments –Voluntary Sector–Actions and StrategiesChildren’s rights


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                        1.4.2. Equality and Human Rights

Such a set of outcomes apply to ALL children and young people, but some young people will need specific assistance to reach these outcomes. For instance, for black and minority ethnic children and young people to enjoy and achieve during school years, they must be free from racial bullying and have sufficient support to address their language and identity needs.

The measurement of outcomes requires information systems to record key indicators of success broken down into the categories of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act. Any indicator would need to be broken down into, for example, racial categories and disabled/non-disabled children and young people.

A valuable aspect of such an approach is that it shows how all children and young people are doing, but also enables planners to address the needs of children and young people with additional needs, such as disabled children and young people, alongside and not separately from the development of mainstream services.

The process of developing an outcome-based approach will take a number of years to fully develop and will better integrate the work of the Children's Services Plan. A number of stages have been identified:

Next steps;-

        �� Widespread agreement on high level outcome indicators, based on rights and needs.

        �� Agreement on first phase of core ‘feeder’ indicators

        �� Base-line measurements established by core ‘feeder’ indicators

        �� Trends in core indicators tracked, evaluated and fed back into all agencies and local communities.

        �� Putting in place actions and strategies to achieve improvement, through Children's Services Planning sub groups and other inter-agency planning.

 


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            At this stage, feedback on the outcome-based approach during the consultation has been positive. It is now proposed to take this work forward in conjunction with regional work being undertaken by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister following their consultation document Making it r wrld 2.

 


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                   2. The Western Area Children’s Services Plan

                     2.1. Children and Young People in the Western Area – Population Data

There are currently 81,219 children and young people in the Western Area aged under 18 years.

Figure 1: Main Age Groups of Children and Young People by District Council Area

Figure 2: Population of 0-17 Year-Olds by Trust Years

 

Age Band

Derry

Limavady

Fermanagh

Strabane

Omagh

Total

0 - 4

7817

2460

3766

2691

3511

20,245

5 - 9

8,469

2,638

4,157

3,068

3,915

22,247

10 - 14

9,107

2,717

4,531

3,077

3,903

23,335

15 - 17

6,011

1,634

3,030

2,085

2,632

15,392

Total

31,404

9,449

15,484

10,921

13,961

81,219

 

0-4

5-9

10-14

15-17

0-17 Years

Foyle

12,071

13,152

13,875

9,035

48,133

Sperrin Lakeland

8,174

9,095

9,460

6,357

33,086

WHSSB

20,245

22,247

23,335

15,392

81,219

 


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Figure 3: Population Projections (Based on 2002 Mid-Year Estimates)

2.2. The Western Area Children and Young People’s Committee – Structure and Composition

The objectives set out in the Children’s Services Plan have been identified through the work of a number of Sub-Committees of the Western Area Children and Young People’s Committee (WACYPC). The current range of Sub-Committees is described below. Each of the Sub-Committees is inter-disciplinary in composition, containing relevant representation from both the statutory and voluntary sectors. Chairpersons are drawn from the agency with the lead responsibility for each theme.

The Western Area Children and Young People's Committee is a central, co-ordinating mechanism. The Committee draws its composition from the following constituencies (number of places in brackets):

            �� Chair – Director of Social Care, Western Health and Social Services Board (WHSSB)

            �� Healthcare (1) – WHSSB

            �� Training (1) – Social Services Training Team, Westcare

            �� Voluntary Sector (3) – currently Children in Northern Ireland, LifeStart, one vacancy

 

Children/Young people Aged 0-17

Area/Year

2002

2005

2010

2015

2017

Limavady

9,453

9,217

8,770

8,501

8,422

Derry

31,834

30,080

27,727

26,472

26,194

North Strabane

7,388

7,089

6,820

6,710

6,640

Foyle Trust

48,675

46,386

43,317

41,683

41,256

Omagh

14,055

13,724

13,646

13,662

13,735

Fermanagh

15,672

14,855

14,148

14,154

14,219

South Strabane

3,694

3,545

3,410

3,355

3,320

Sperrin Lakeland

33,421

32,124

31,204

31,171

31,274

WHSSB

82,096

78,510

74,521

72,854

72,530

 


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            �� Community Sector (3) – currently Derry Local Strategy Local Partnership, Limavady Local Strategy Partnership, one vacancy

            �� Ethnic Minorities (1) – Derry Travellers Support Group

            �� Youth Justice (2) – Probation Board of Northern Ireland, Youth Justice Board

            �� Education (2) – Western Education and Library Board (WELB)

            �� Housing (1) – NIHE

            �� Social Care (3) – WHSSB, Foyle Trust, Sperrin Lakeland Trust

            �� Police (1) – PSNI

            The core representation of the Western Area Children and Young People's Committee is mandated by legislation. The Committee however, in common with the other Children and Young People’s Committees in Northern Ireland, has significantly expanded its membership base over the past three years, particularly in relation to the voluntary and community sector input.

Children & Young People’s CommitteeInformationTraining NetworkWACYPCMarch 2005Cross-Border Youth Participation ProjectChild ProtectionChild Care P/shipYouth JusticeHomelessMental HealthSixteen PlusFamily SupportDisabilityDomestic ViolenceLooked After ChildrenChildren/ Young People’s Health Forum

 


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                     2.3. Development of the Children’s Services Plan

Children’s Services Planning is planning for vulnerable children and young people on the basis of assessment of need. There are four components to understanding need, and the Plan has attempted to draw information from each area (Figure 4).

There has been good progress in the development of an inter-agency information system in the Western area. A database containing:

            �� Needs Indicators

            �� Information on supply of services

            is in place, and is updated regularly. The database can provide information at electoral ward level, and is available publicly on the Children’s Services Planning website (Figure 5).

The work on user-involvement continues to make progress. The Western Area Children and Young People's Committee has placed particular emphasis on the participation of

 

Figure 4: Children’s Services Planning Model for Needs Assessment

                        �� Technical Data – Inter-Agency Information System

                        �� User Involvement

                        �� Community Knowledge – Information from local people and from professionals who work in localities

                        �� Research Evidence

 

 

Figure 5: Data of Need and Supply for Children’s Services in the Western Area

www.wacy-pc.org

 


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children and young people. Much valuable work has been undertaken over the past two years by the Young People’s Steering Group (‘Making a Difference Today’ or ‘MAD2DAY’), and funding has now been obtained from Inter-Reg, in partnership with the Health Service Executive North-West in the Republic of Ireland, to develop a major project in youth participation and planning – which will enable each of the Sub-Committees to relate to a supported and co-ordinated, peer-led framework for young people.

Work with young children is still at an early stage, and has been taken forward through work mandated by the Western Area Childcare Partnership.

The views of parents have been accessed through a number of sources. The Western Area Childcare Partnership has developed forums in each District Council area. Whilst direct parental representation in other Children’s Services Planning Sub-Committees remains low, Sub-Committees have been able to draw on other resources – such as specific consultations (focus groups etc), as well as published material, in order to maintain this focus. The Western Area Children and Young People's Committee will continue to work with all available resources in order to strengthen this aspect of its work.

The position in relation to community knowledge has improved considerably. A feature of the past year has been the community consultation process carried out in each of the six localities throughout the Western area in order to identify priorities in the Family Support Strategy. Linkages between the planning process and operational professionals however need to be improved.

Access to research evidence is a continual feature of the work of the Sub-Committees.

2.4. Consultation on the Children’s Services Plan

This Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008, presented by the Western Area Children and Young People's Committee, has been prepared after a period of consultation involving:

 


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            • Consultation events during March 2005 in both Foyle Trust and Sperrin Lakeland Trust areas;

            • Consultation with young people carried out by Opportunity Youth; and

            • Comments received from a range of individuals and organisations.

                     2.5. Strategic Context

The 2005-2008 Children’s Services Plan has been written against the background of the continued suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The importance of local representation and local knowledge in respect of services for children and young people has been previously noted by the Western Area Children and Young People's Committee. The Review of Public Administration is now imminent, and the Committee looks forward to proposals which will achieve coherent and child-centred planning and delivery of services, and which will lead to improved outcomes for children and young people in Northern Ireland. The ten-year strategy for children, Making it r wrld 2, led by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, has just completed the consultation phase, and the Committee looks forward to taking forward its work as part of a determined and focused regional strategy. The Children’s Rights movement continues to gather pace, supported by the work of the Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner.

It is evident that the financial environment across all Departments will be very tight over the next three years. However, proposals for the future development of the DHSSPS Strategy for Children are anticipated in the near future. The themes of service integration, needs-led planning and user-participation are strongly articulated in the DHSSPS 20-Year Strategy. The Review of Children First, which sets out the strategic context for the Western Area Child Care Partnership – is also eagerly awaited. The implementation of the Leaving Care Act is now set for September 2005, with a number of outstanding issues still to be resolved. The new Special Education Needs legislation (SENDO) strengthens the rights of children with special needs to be educated in mainstream schools where parents require it and where the interests of other children can be protected. It also places a duty on schools not to treat pupils who have a disability less favourably, and to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that such pupils are not disadvantaged. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Supporting People’ strategy has yielded some very positive examples of inter-agency

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 24 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

planning for young people, including care leavers. In the field of youth justice, the continuing debate about policing has impacted on Community Safety Partnerships achieving their full potential. The Youth Justice Agency is developing services alongside those provided to young people at risk of offending by PBNI, voluntary and community organisations. Informal providers, such as Community Restorative Justice, continue to be significant players in some areas and work on protocols to include them in the formal system continues. Finally, it is particularly encouraging to note that an inter-departmental, and inter-agency forum on Domestic Violence has now been formed to take forward the regional strategy.

2.6. Funding the Children’s Services Plan

The implementation of the Children’s Services Plans in Northern Ireland has been based on:

            �� The influence which the Plans have exerted on external funding and commissioning bodies, on the basis of integrated strategic planning;

            �� Access by the Children and Young People's Committees to funding streams which they can influence directly.

            The Plan depends, therefore, on delivery through a mix of funding sources, some direct and some indirect.

Current direct funding sources accessed by the Western Area Children and Young People's Committee include:

            �� The commissioning processes of each constituent agency;

            �� The Executive Programme Fund for children and young people;

            �� Funding from the Northern Ireland Office for Youth Justice projects;

            �� The commissioning role of the Western Area Childcare Partnership in relation to Early Years services.

 


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            Indirect funding sources include:

            �� Influence on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive ‘Supporting People’ programmes;

            �� Influence on Local Health And Social Care Group priorities;

            �� Influence on Investing for Health priorities.

            The Western Area Children and Young People's Committee is acutely aware of the potential impact of the draft budgetary proposals from the Department of Finance and Personnel for 2005-2008, which are likely to significantly restrict opportunities to mainstream inter-agency projects which are currently in the pilot phase, as well as restricting opportunities for new service development. The Committee will continue to look for access to divert funding which is more focused for the development of inter-agency and inter-sectoral projects.

 

                     2.7. Strategic Objectives – Western Area Children and Young People's Committee – Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

The Western Area Children and Young People's Committee will “promote and develop the Children’s Services Plan through the period 2005-2008, concentrating on achieving progress in the areas of:

            �� Outcomes based on Needs and Rights

            �� Integrated planning based on the ‘Whole Child’ model

            �� Supporting Families

 


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                     2.8. Key Result Areas

The priority areas for development in respect of the Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008 will be as follows:

            �� Improved Outcomes for Children and Young People who are Vulnerable or in Need

The key objective will be to demonstrate that a performance management framework has been put in place which will enable the Western Area Children and Young People's Committee to track critical outcomes from vulnerable children and young people.

�� Children’s Rights

It will be a key objective of the Committee to promote the articles of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child through an integrated planning process, to demonstrate that progress has been achieved with reference to the UNCRC throughout the timescale of the Plan

            �� Commissioning and Resource Targeting

The key objective will be to demonstrate that the Committee has increased its ability to influence the deployment of resources of Children’s Services, in accordance with the priorities in the Plan. Of particular importance would be the creation of opportunities for a joint commissioning.

�� User Participation

It will be a key objective of the Committee to continue to demonstrate that its frameworks for user participation, involving children, parents and young people, have been strengthened throughout the timescale of the Plan.

            �� Early Intervention

The key objective will be to demonstrate that, in each of the planning areas, proposals for preventative or diversionary initiatives have been developed, and that these have been pursued in parallel with those services that are necessary to meet current needs.

 


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            �� Effective Influence

The key objective will be to demonstrate that changes have been made to relevant policy areas throughout the timescale of the Plan.

            �� Integrated Family Support Strategy

The key objective will be to demonstrate that the range of services available to children and young people, in order to ensure that their needs can be safely met in their homes and communities, has been expanded through the development of the Integrated Family Support Strategy.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 28 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                   3. Building on the Strengths of Families

                     3.1. Progress to Date

The development of a coordinated and strategic approach to Family Support has been one of the core Children’s Services Planning objectives since the inception of Children’s Services Planning in April 1999.

A considerable amount of work has been undertaken in the Western area to bring this project to its present state of development:

            �� Inter-agency and inter-disciplinary cooperation has been advanced through collaboration within Children’s Services Planning, and also through other major initiatives, such as Investing for Health, the Western Health Action Zone, the development of Local Health and Social Care Groups etc.

            �� Progress has been achieved in relation to locality-sensitive data collection, relating to both need and supply of services, and the Children’s Services database, which can now map need and supply at electoral ward level is publicly available, and is widely used.

            �� Policy emphasis on partnership working has resulted in many positive experiences of the design and implementation of creative, community-based projects.

 

Family Support Strategy

                        �� To develop Family Support as the preferred method of intervention in meeting the needs of children, by building on the strengths of families and carers

                        �� To provide an information base which will enable participating agencies to plan strategically for the development of Family Support services

                        �� To develop a comprehensive range of services which can meet the needs of children and their families in a supportive way

 

 


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            �� The concept of integrated, locally-based provision with outreach as a key element is clearly recognised following an extensive locality consultation process about Family Support carried out in June/July 2004.

            �� The critical issue of clarity in relation to child protection and its location within a Family Support agenda has been advanced through the development of the ‘New Beginnings’ programmes undertaken by both Community Trusts.

            �� The issues related to race and culture have been embedded in all current programmes through: a) section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act; and b) the emerging profile of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

            �� The principle of user-involvement has been established, and there are examples of progress in this area – but it is recognised that more needs to be done.

The Northern Ireland Family Support Model has been described in Chapter 1 of this Plan. In the Western area, planning for Family Support has been developed through a co-ordinated, ‘parallel’ approach:

�� the Intensive Support Strategy, which is led by Community Trusts, and which seeks to develop a range of Family Support Services which can meet the needs of children and families where there are typically complex problems or difficulties, and where statutory intervention by Trust Child Care services is usually a feature. These are the children and families positioned at Levels 3 and 4 of the Northern Ireland Family Support Model; and

�� the Preventative Strategy, which is being developed by a group representing the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, but led by the voluntary sector, in close collaboration with the Western Area Childcare Partnership, seeks to co-ordinate planning, based on assessed need, for children and families with low to medium levels of need and who do not meet the threshold criteria for access to Trust Child Care services.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 30 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

 

4


All Children in Targeted Areas 1 Intensive Support Strategy Preventative Strategy

             

Figure 6: Western Area Family Support Strategy

Services For All Children & FamiliesChildren & Families With Identified NeedsComplex Needs in the CommunityHigh Risk/Out of Home23

The development of the ‘parallel’ approach is co-ordinated through the Western Area Family Support Strategy Group, an inter-sectoral group, chaired by the Assistant Director of Child Care at the WHSSB, which meets regularly to review all aspects of the emerging Strategy. It is recognised by this group that the interface between Level 2 and Level 3 service developments needs to be carefully managed in an integrated way.

                     3.2. Intensive Support Strategy

                        3.2.1. Thresholds

Recognising the critical interface at the threshold between Level 2 (children and families with identified needs) and Level 3 (engagement with Trust child care services on the basis of their statutory responsibilities under section 17 and section 66 of the Children (NI) Order), the Trusts have developed threshold policies based on internal assessment of need. The Laming Report, in particular, has drawn attention to the complexity and importance of this area, and the guidance ‘Co-Operating to Safeguard Children’ sets out a series of core standards to be adopted in carrying out initial assessments.

 


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In April 2003, the WHSSB, in conjunction with Foyle and Sperrin Lakeland Trusts, issued a guidance document entitled Family and Child Care – Thresholds for Intervention Model, which provides detailed operational guidance on a range of factors to be taken into consideration when children and families present for access to Trust Child Care services. This document is based on models developed in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Social Services, and has been quality assured by both Local Authorities, as well as by a regional Quality Assurance Group. The standards in relation to assessment contained in Co-Operating to Safeguard Children will be fully implemented in the Western area, following the publication of the regional Area Child Protection Committee Guidelines in March 2005, and the Plan recognises the responsibilities of the WHSSB, Trusts, the Area Child Protection Committee, and the Family Support Strategy Group to monitor closely and quality assure all activity in this area.

3.2.2. Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust – Strategic Objective for Intensive Support Strategy

“To create an appropriately-skilled infrastructure which will enable the Trust’s Child Care Programme to target its services at children and families in greatest need; to promote a ‘whole systems’ approach; to focus on the strength of families, maintain children in their own families where possible, and to make Family Support as the preferred method of intervention; and ensure that children in need of protection are viewed as part of the continuum of children in need.”

3.2.3. Progress to Date – Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust

Sperrin Lakeland Trust instigated a project management approach to the task of developing a plan for improving child care services to children and families who require intensive support, at the beginning of 2004. A number of working groups have been taking forward key elements of the preparatory work, in order to enable a strategy to be agreed and implemented from early 2005 onwards. Work to date has focused on:

            �� Administration and business support

            �� Family Support

            �� Recruitment, retention and support

            �� Thresholds and intake

 


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            �� Workload management

            �� Roles, responsibilities and structure

            �� Placement

            �� Clinical and Social Care governance

                        3.2.4. Project Plan – 2005-2006 - Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust

Sperrin Lakeland Trust reviewed the ‘New Beginnings’ project plan in February 2005 and priorities for 2005-2006 were agreed. These priorities are grouped into four areas:

Quality Standards

The aim is to:

            �� identify and specify what Family and Child Care quality standards are, or should be;

            �� develop performance indicators; and

            �� agree monitoring mechanisms for core services.

                        Business Support/Information and Communication Technology

The focus is on:

            �� addressing current Information and Communication Technology deficiencies within Family and Child Care;

            �� improving information to professionals/managers for service management and service development; and

            �� ensuring administrative support and accommodation is appropriate to the needs of the service.

                        Organisation

The work will address:

            �� offering a staff induction programme;

            �� ensuring supervision is a supportive and learning experience;

            �� building on health and well-being at work initiative;

            �� clarifying Key Worker role and responsibility;

            �� strengthening interface between all teams including Looked After Children and Child Protection;

            �� realigning Child Protection teams to complement work of Duty and Assessment Team; and

            �� using exit interview to learn about staff experiences.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 33 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                        Service Re-Design

This will consider:

            �� Early Years service;

            �� Family Centre service;

            �� Family Support Workers;

            �� Family Support priorities;

            �� New Duty and Assessment Team; and

            �� Foster parent recruitment.

                        3.2.5. Key Result Areas – 2005-2008 - Sperrin Lakeland HSC Trust

The Key Result Areas are based on work already carried out, or currently in progress, or identified as priorities to be taken forward. A feature of the Key Result Areas is that they link into the central elements of the WHSSB Prevention Strategy.

            �� The operation of a single point of contact Duty and Assessment Team.

            �� The application of the Threshold for Intervention Model following all initial assessments.

            �� Ensuring that social work and other staff have the necessary skills and are supported to empower and strengthen families.

            �� Cultural shift towards partnership with children and families.

            �� The full development of Intensive Family Support services which are able to support children in situations of risk, disadvantage, illness, disability, emotional/psychiatric difficulties.

            �� Support for families in their own homes, in their own locality, at all times as required.

            �� Quality standards at the centre of the Trust’s work and services.

            �� Ensuring that good communication, multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working underpin the Family Support approach.

            �� Ensuring that information systems are in place to record, monitor and assess Family Support services and their impact.

            �� Having a service that protects children, supports families and improves the lives of children.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 34 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                        3.2.6. Foyle HSS Trust – Strategic Objective for Family Support Strategy

New Beginning’s Strategic Objective is “to ensure that all children are raised within their families or communities”. The Project aims to meet this objective by developing creative Family Support services, which build on the strengths of families. It aims to meet children’s needs including, but not limited to, the need for protection. It recognises that children have a right to be involved as people with their own views and feelings. The Trust’s Family & Child Care Strategic Direction is rooted in a vision of delivering a service that expresses Family Support principles and style and where all decisions in relation to children is based on outputs and outcomes.

3.2.7. Progress to Date – Foyle HSS Trust

Achievements

The Trust began by reorganising its Family and Child Care structure to allow for specialist teams, ensuring more effective delivery of services. This was undertaken in September 2003 - however it has taken approximately until September 2004 for staff and families to grow accustomed to their new roles.

The following is a list of achievements to date since the beginning of the Project. Foyle Trust has:

            �� established a new centralised Duty and Assessment Team, which offers a single point of contact for all new referrals, and offers initial detailed assessment of all appropriate enquiries prior to allocation;

            �� agreed and developed a ‘Threshold for Intervention Model’, which is applied once the initial assessment process has been completed;

            �� created both a Family Support Panel and a Children Resource Panel to enable it to allocate resources from a central base, in order to direct services to those at greatest need;

            �� begun the process of establishing a Family Support Panel for children with disabilities;

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 35 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            �� employed a Family Worker Co-ordinator and family workers including sessional family workers;

            �� established an Independent Chairing Process, for Looked After Children and for children on the Child Protection Register. These posts also have a monitoring and quality control role;

            �� appointed two full-time Family Group Conference Co-ordinators on a non-recurring basis and has piloted a Family Group Conference service;

            �� begun the process of appointing Senior Practitioners in its service;

            �� begun ‘Target Setting’ with each team to help raise standards and agree ‘Key Indicators’ which can be measured in relation to the overall strategic direction;

            �� developed data systems and information system to enable it to make more informed decisions;

            �� established ‘Learning Sets’ for its managers to allow them to discuss the ‘change’ process in a safe environment;

            �� (in conjunction with the Social Services Training Team) developed a training strategy to help staff develop the necessary skills and tools to empower families, build resilience and strengthen families;

            �� begun a management development programme and is beginning an induction course for new managers;

            �� developed a cultural induction programme for all new Foyle Trust Social Workers;

            �� recently engaged National University of Ireland, Galway to undertake an evaluation of the project.

 


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                        Current Issues

            �� After implementing the Threshold model it has become obvious that safer and better quality practice would occur by every appropriate enquiry receiving a full initial assessment. This has resulted in detailed assessments being carried out on all cases. However the capacity of the Duty and Assessment Team has been seriously compromised due to this extra volume of work. The Trust will be seeking to develop extra resources in this area.

            �� The Panels are beginning to identify and collect information about unmet need to inform future planning. Social Care staff are reporting that the centralised Panel system ensures the equitable distribution of resources, and facilitates immediate responses when necessary.

            �� Whilst the new structure is viewed as creating a more consistent means of managing the volume of work, problems relating to capacity are still evident – particularly in Duty and Assessment, Independent Chairing, and Family Intervention Service, and Early Years.

            �� The process of evaluation will identify other issues that will be taken into consideration.

            �� Other trends that are emerging include the role of Residential Care in offering outreach Family Support, and the role of the Leaving and Aftercare Team in relation to the new leaving Care legislation and undertaking statutory responsibility.

                        3.2.8. Key Result Areas – 2005-2008 – Foyle HSS Trust

The identification of Key Result Areas for the Foyle project will be determined as a result of the pending evaluation. However at this stage a number of key themes have emerged; including:

            �� The application of Training to practice;

            �� The completion of multi-disciplinary assessments;

            �� The continued development of Family Group Conferencing;

            �� The positive results of Family Group Conferencing;

            �� The change of culture within the organisation towards Partnership and Family Support;

 


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            �� The ability to assess all new cases according to the timescales laid down in ‘Co-operating to Safeguard’;

            �� The ability to ensure that all early years statutory functions are adhered to;

            �� The full implementation of the Leaving Care legislation ensuring that every young person gets access to a quality service;

            �� Participation & inclusion of children, young people & Families.

                     3.3. Preventative Strategy

The Planning Group which has been developing the Preventative Strategy over the past twelve months has been led by the voluntary sector (NCH) and has included the following membership:

 

 

Derry Travellers

 

CedarFoundation

 

NCH

 

Sperrin Lakeland Trust (Family & Childcare)

 

Foyle Trust Family & Childcare

 

NIPPA

 

Homestart

 

Lifestart

 

Parents Advice Centre

 

MENCAP

 

WELB

 

Barnardos

 

Derry Children’s Commission

 

WesternHAZ

 

NEWPIN

 

ExternWest

 

Foyle Women’sAid

 

WHSSB: Children’s Services Planning

Healthcare: Young People & Women’s Health

 

Childcare Partnership

Community Development

Information Services

 

NSPCC

 

NIHE

 

Northern Local Health and Social Care Group

 

Derry LSP


_________________________________________________________________________ 38 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

The Family Support Preventative group have concluded the following key stages of work:

            �� completion of agreed paper on definitions of Family Support and underlying principles;

            �� updating of a comprehensive, integrated Family Support data system, in order to map need and supply across the four levels of the Northern Ireland Family Support Model, in the Western area;

            �� completion of a locality literature review, and a locality consultation process in Limavady, Derry/Londonderry East, Derry/Londonderry West, Strabane, Omagh and Enniskillen, in order to establish key trends in relation to local need, incorporate recommendations from community-based literature sources and consult with a range of local people and agencies about gaps in priorities in relation to early intervention/prevention services.

                        This exercise was commissioned by the WHSSB and the Western Area Childcare Partnership, and was carried out by Huw Griffiths, lecturer in Social Work, University of Ulster (Magee), between May 2004 and January 2005.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 39 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                        3.3.1. Locality Consultation Exercise

The key patterns (as at June 2004) and priority recommendations in each locality are summarised in the table below:

 

Locality Profile – Assessment of Need – Geographical Data

Summary

Recommendations

Priorities

Derry/ Londonderry West

Population/Deprivation

                        19,922 children and young people aged < 18 live on the Westbank

                        8,574 (43%) dependants on Income support or Job Seekers Allowance

                        6,303 (32%) dependants within lone parent families

                        The three most deprived wards in N Ireland for child poverty are based in cityside of Derry Council.

 

Child Health

                        Almost 1,000 new births at year ending March 2003

                        100 children born to teenage mothers

                        74 children born with a low birth weight

                        435 children with a disability (Aged 0-18)

 

Referral to Social Services/Mental Health

                        234 children/young referred to mental health services

                        930 referrals to Social Services

                        157 children in care

                        68 on child protection register

 

Education/Homelessness/Offenders

                        619 suspensions from school (Cityside & Waterside)359 families designated as homeless

                        685 juveniles referred to Juvenile Liaison (Cityside & Waterside)Domestic Violence

                        1,491 Domestic Incidents Attended (Cityside & Waterside)

                        685 Incidents with Domestic Violence Attended (Cityside & Waterside)

                        Children from Ethnic Minority Groups 355 children from an ethnic background (Cityside & Waterside)

 

1. Provision of services for adolescent’s educational programmes spanning health education and social care- citizenship programmes.

2. Self esteem building through peer group education.

3. Services re sexual health. Alcohol/drugs misuse.

4. Access mental health services young people.

5. Accessible out of hours holistic family support services i.e. wraparound services.

6. Provision of contact centre.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 40 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

Locality Profile – Assessment of Need – Geographical Data

Summary

Recommendations

Priorities

Derry/

Londonderry East

Population/Deprivation

                        12,264 children and young people aged < 18 live in the Eastbank area of Derry Council

                        2,855 dependants on Income support or Job Seekers Allowance (23%)

                        1,987 dependants within lone parent families

                        Derry Council Area is the third most deprived council in Northern Ireland (out of 26 councils). Based on rank of average of ward score

 

Child Health

                        Almost 593 new births at year ending March 2003

                        40 children born to teenage mothers

                        31 children born with a low birth weight

                        260 children with a disability (Aged 0-18)

 

Referral to Social Services/Mental Health

                        138 children/young people (aged 0-19) referred to mental health services

                        547 referrals to Social Services

                        101 children in care

                        43 on child protection register

 

Education/Homelessness/Offenders

                        619 suspensions from school (Cityside & Waterside)107 families designated as homeless

                        685 juveniles referred to Juvenile Liaison (Cityside & Waterside)Domestic Violence

                        1,491 Domestic Incidents Attended (Cityside & Waterside)685 Incidents with Domestic Violence Attended (Cityside & Waterside)

                        Children from Ethnic Minority Groups 355 children from an ethnic background (Cityside & Waterside)

 

1. Holistic family focused model of support. One stop centre with childcare facilities multi-purpose with a range of resources and leisure facilities.

2. Non-crises generated parenting courses facilities.

3. Improved partnership between parents and schools i.e. school based initiatives.

4. Parenting peer support.

5. Integration of welfare system to support families.

6. Transitional citizenship awareness/training

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 41 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

Locality Profile – Assessment of Need – Geographical Data

Summary

Recommendations

Priorities

Fermanagh

Population/Deprivation

                        15,672 children and young people aged < 18 live in Fermanagh

                        2,816 dependants on Income support or Job Seekers Allowance

                        1,510 dependants within lone parent families

                        Fermanagh Council Area is the 11th most deprived council in Northern Ireland (out of 26 councils). Based on rank of average of ward scores.

 

Child Health

                        782 new births at year ending March 2003

                        33 children born to teenage mothers

                        51 children born with a low birth weight

                        520 children with a disability (Aged 0-18)

 

Referral to Social Services/Mental Health

                        254 children/young people (aged 0-19) referred to mental health services

                        1,629 referrals to Social Services

                        62 children in care

                        74 on child protection register

 

Education/Homelessness/Offenders

                        167 suspensions from school.

                        146 families designated as homeless

                        402 juveniles referred to Juvenile Liaison

 

Domestic Violence

                        473 Domestic Incidents Attended

                        321 Incidents with Domestic Violence Attended

                        Children from Ethnic Minority Groups 116 children from an ethnic minority background

 

1. Support services for parents.

2. Preventative family support and parenting programmes –

3. Services for children within autistic spectrum.

4. Courses teaching citizenship.

5. Affordable accessible child care sensitive to individual needs.

6. A range of services for teenagers re bullying mental health services, personal development programmes.

7. A one- stop shop.

8. The nurturing school concept.

9. ‘Building local infrastructure’ building community capacity in rural areas. Transport

10. Services for young carers.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 42 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

Locality Profile – Assessment of Need – Geographical Data

Summary

Recommendations

Priorities

Omagh

Population/Deprivation

                        14,055 children and young people aged < 18 live in Omagh

                        2,892 dependants on Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance

                        1,620 dependants within lone parent families

                        Omagh Council Area is the seventh most deprived council in Northern Ireland (out of 26 councils). Based on rank of average of ward scores.

 

Child Health

                        688 new births at year ending March 2003

                        30 children born to teenage mothers

                        55 children born with a low birth weight

                        316 children with a disability (Aged 0-18)

 

Referral to Social Services/Mental Health

                        200 children/young people (aged 0-19) referred to mental health services

                        1,222 referrals to Social Services

                        53 children in care

                        76 on child protection register

 

Education/Homelessness/Offenders

                        245 suspensions from school

                        51 families designated as homeless

                        76 juveniles referred to Juvenile Liaison

 

Domestic Violence

                        580 Domestic Incidents Attended

                        330 Incidents with Domestic Violence Attended

                        Children from Ethnic Minority Groups 102 children from an ethnic minority background

 

1. Mentoring and befriending services within schools/programmes on citizenship.

2. Preventative mental health and well being strategies focused on positive emotional health for young people.

3. Community network to promote self help “to care for carers”

4. One stop shop.

5. Specialist centres offer support and advise re alcohol and drug misuse.

6. Improved Transport infrastructure

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 43 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

Locality Profile – Assessment of Need – Geographical Data

Summary

Recommendations

Priorities

Limavady

Population/Deprivation

                        9,453 children and young people aged < 18 live in Limavady

                        1,865 dependants on Income support or Job Seekers Allowance

                        995 dependants within lone parent families

                        Limavady Council Area is the 8th most deprived council in N Ireland (out of 26 councils). Based on rank of average of ward scores.

 

Child Health

                        448 new births at year ending March 2003

                        29 children born to teenage mothers

                        15 children born with a low birth weight

                        169 children with a disability (Aged 0-18)

 

Referral to Social Services/Mental Health

                        110 children/young people (aged 0-19) referred to mental health services

                        481 referrals to Social Services

                        66 children in care

                        26 on child protection register

 

Education/Homelessness/Offenders

                        184 suspensions from school

                        64 families designated as homeless

                        215 juveniles referred to Juvenile Liaison

 

Domestic Violence

                        359 Domestic Incidents Attended

                        168 Incidents with Domestic Violence Attended

 

Children from Ethnic Minority Groups

                        75 children from an ethnic minority background.

 

1. Home based family support services delivering parenting programmes etc.

2. Expand the provision and remit of respite care and Wraparound childcare services.

3. Development of social educational programmes greater integration school home health and Social care.

4. Services for children young people with disabilities.

5. Increased access to non- stigmatising mental health services for both children and young people.

6. Build on short intensive crises interventions all ready existing.

7. Need for listening ear type services and 24 hour help line.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 44 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

Locality Profile – Assessment of Need – Geographical Data

Summary

Recommendations

Priorities

Strabane

Population/Deprivation

                        11,082 children and young people aged < 18 live in Strabane

                        3,248 dependants on Income support or Job Seekers Allowance

                        1,915 dependants within lone parent families

                        Strabane Council Area is ranked as the most deprived in N Ireland. Noble, 2001. Based on rank of average of ward scores.

 

Child Health

                        527 new births at year ending March 2003

                        39 children born to teenage mothers

                        36 children born with a low birth weight

                        282 children with a disability (Aged 0-18)

 

Referral to Social Services/Mental Health

                        142 children/young people (aged 0-19) referred to mental health services

                        373 referrals to Social Services

                        47 children in care

                        53 on child protection register

 

Education/Homelessness/Offenders

                        122 suspensions from school.

                        69 families designated as homeless

                        390 juveniles referred to Juvenile Liaison

 

Domestic Violence

                        408 Domestic Incidents Attended

                        241 Incidents with Domestic Violence Attended

 

Children from Ethnic Minority Groups

                        81 children from an ethnic background from Strabane Council Area

 

1. Flexible home based services focus on parenting programmes.

2. Greater emphasis on linkages between school & home.

3. One stop shop of family support and a wide range of health educational and social services. Including range of statutory and voluntary agencies.

4. Pre-school primary care services affordable accessible childcare services.

5. Lack of social planning for leisure and recreational facilities.

6. Affordable transport deficit of infrastructure.

 

                        3.3.2. Strategic Objective – Family Support Preventative Group

The overarching strategic objective of the Preventative group continues to be:

to focus on promoting access to a better range of accessible, relevant, affordable, preventative services at an early stage in families’ lives as the preferred method of Family Support in the WHSSB area.

‘Reinforcing Prevention’ as the way forward is to be progressed by the group in the following ways:

            �� Dissemination of key messages about the strategy and the emerging priority themes for service planning and delivery to all stakeholders. These include the community,

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 45 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            relevant professional and other groups and organisations, funders, policy-makers and strategic planners at Departmental level;

            �� On the basis of findings from local research/consultation a number of short and long-term objectives for each locality area is to be refined and prioritised with general outline proposals for proceeding with planning, funding, implementation and review/evaluation of agreed priorities;

            �� Better links are to be forged with referral/access points for Social Care services to determine appropriate information strategies and onward service pathways for children and families requiring support at Level 2.

                        3.3.3. Key Result Areas 2005-2008 – Family Support Preventative Group

            �� Locality-Based, Early Intervention Services

A strong emerging theme emanating from the consultation in each locality area is the need to strengthen existing locality based, early intervention services where possible and develop new services where necessary in both urban and rural areas.

Key messages are clear about the need for these services to be relevant, accessible, affordable and responsive to local need and culture. The creation and profiling of a menu of child and family-friendly services through a locally-based, wrap around/’one-stop-shop’ approach delivered through better integrated working between families, professionals and other service providers is the preferred way forward.

Recommendations from the Preventative group will be underpinned by this ethos.

�� Home-Based Services

The development of a range of appropriate, practical, home-based services at different levels to support child care and parenting emerges as another strongly predominant theme.

The required ‘type’ of service development at Level 2 requires further analysis in each locality area and needs to be measured against any existing provision in both urban and rural communities.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 46 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

             

This service development area will form part of the short and long-term objectives for each area as appropriate.

�� Participation of Children, Young People and Parents

A more proactive approach to developing a culture of participation, and inclusion of young people and their parents in the planning design and evaluation of Family Support Services also emerges as an important service development for the strategy to consider.

The Preventative group is keen to build on existing good practice and to promote as standard practice across the sectors, a culture where there is meaningful inclusion of service users, a requirement for service providers to demonstrate inclusion, and an accessible toolkit to assist services in creating more effective participation.

Linked to this is the need also to explore how within the context of the overall strategy we might improve services in terms of Advocacy for children and families in a general sense.

�� Utilising Existing Community Infrastructure

The need to strengthen existing services and make use of existing community infrastructure and facilities to enhance the development of a preventative approach has been reflected strongly in the local research/consultations.

The Preventative group endorse this view and will advocate for better links with primary care developments, council facilities and housing providers, as well as the need to promote more proactive involvement with schools as part of the community infrastructure for providing support to young people and families.

Exploring the potential for development of the ‘extended school’ idea is identified as an important priority in shaping the way forward.

A major challenge in the context of community infrastructure is the vulnerability of existing provision dependent on fixed-term funding. The need to evaluate, to consider the impact of loss of service and to safeguard, where appropriate, is an immediate requirement.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 47 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

             

It is considered to be important that opportunities are taken to promote existing services supporting families in local areas, possibly through ‘showcasing’ the range of services and highlighting best practice.

            �� Improving Quality

Throughout its lifespan so far the Preventative group has highlighted the importance of quality assurance in Family Support and the need to drive the agenda for improving and demonstrating quality in the delivery of services. This is consistent with current legislation and policy as part of the wider health and social care modernisation and governance agenda and is consistent with the principles of good family support and child protection practice. As such it includes ensuring that services which we provide and promote are safe, transparent, well integrated and linked to positive outcomes for children and their parents as well as being value for money. It also includes ensuring that the workforce is recruited as safely as possible and that staff development and training is high profile.

Within Family Support the development of proposed baseline family support standards as the bench mark for quality, endorsed by the WACYPC and linked to access to funding and appropriate training is an important piece of work which needs to be driven jointly by the preventative strategy group and the intensive support strategy and other stakeholders in the immediate future.

            �� Funding Strategy

The development of a funding strategy is key to progressing the recommendations for development of preventative services. For each locality area this requires specific identification of the funding priorities as seen by the group both on a short and long term basis taking account of maintenance needs for existing services as appropriate and development of new services where needed and possible.

At a general level the preventative group will be engaging proactively with funding bodies to disseminate the findings of local research and communicate our recommendations/ agreed priorities for developments which are locality based as well as centralised services which may also require development.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 48 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            �� Preventative Mental Health Services

The development of preventative mental health services for children and their parents/carers emerges as another important key theme in prioritising the development of family support services at Level 2.

The aim is to support those families where mental health problems in parents/carers, which have a potentially adverse effect on parenting capacity, could be minimised or significantly reduced through home based or other supportive interventions. The provision of such services is seen as crucial to helping children living in these circumstances to remain at home and experience a stable upbringing. The development of early intervention services for parents and children in situations where children are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties, is another key target area (see also Chapter 6.4, Page 73).

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 49 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                   4. Children and Young People in Public Care

                     4.1. Statistical Data

There are currently 473 children who are in public care in the Western Board area – 351 in Foyle Trust and 122 in Sperrin Lakeland Trust. The term ‘Looked After’ is a legal term used in the Children (NI) Order – a child is ‘Looked After’ by a Trust if he or she is provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours by the Trust in the exercise of its statutory functions.

Over the past five years, there has been an increase in the number of Looked After Children within the Western Board area from 446 in March 1999 to 473 in March 2005 (6% increase). Foyle Trust has increased from 309 to 351 children in this period, while Sperrin Lakeland has experienced a reduction from 137 to 122.

Figure 7: Total Number of Children in Care in WHSSB Area 1999-2005

Figure 8: Total Number of Children in Care in WHSSB Area 1999-2004

Total Number of Children in care in WHSSB Area 1999 - 20050100200300400500600200020012002200320042005FoyleSperrin LakelandTotal WHSSB

 

Trust

Mar-99

Mar-00

Mar-01

Mar-02

Mar-03

Mar-04

Mar-05

Foyle

309

345

360

374

373

376

351

Sperrin Lakeland

137

139

140

115

115

125

122

Total WHSSB

446

484

500

489

488

501

473

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 50 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

The figure for Looked After Children in Foyle Trust (75.4 per 10,000 population at 31 March 2002) is amongst the highest in Northern Ireland, exceeding the Northern Ireland average of 54.3 per 10,000. In Sperrin Lakeland Trust, the equivalent figures (34.5 per 10,000) are significantly lower than the Foyle and Northern Ireland rates. The highest rates in Northern Ireland are in North and West Belfast Trust (82.5 per 10,000) followed by Foyle Trust. The lowest rates are in Craigavon and Banbridge Trust (25.6 per 10,000) and Sperrin Lakeland Trust. This compares with a figure of 52.3 per 10,000 in England.

The gender and age breakdown of the Looked After population at 31 March 2004 is as follows:

Figure 9: Age/Gender Breakdown of Looked After Children at 31 March 2005

The majority of Looked After Children are accommodated in Foster Care – 61% in Foyle Trust and 61% in Sperrin Lakeland Trust. A significant number of Looked After Children are cared for within their family of origin – 19% in Foyle Trust and 16% in Sperrin Lakeland Trust.

 

Age

Foyle Trust

Sperrin Lakeland Trust

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

< 1 Year

2

7

3

2

1-4

15

20

5

9

5-11

58

75

20

20

12-15

62

49

21

18

16+

26

31

10

10

Total

163

182

59

59

Source : LA2 (provisional figures)

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 51 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

The distribution of placements in each Trust is as follows:

Figure 10: Distribution of placements by Trust as at March 2005

Placement of Looked After Children Foyle Trust15%66%19%0%Residential Foster CareWith FamilyOther

Placement of Looked After Children Sperrin Lakeland Trust17%61%16%6%ResidentialCareFoster CareWith FamilyOther

4.2. Needs Profiling

In 2002 the DHSSPS introduced a programme for systematically collecting statistical information designed to monitor and assess outcomes for Looked After Children. The outcome indicator collection of data (OC2) covers all children in Northern Ireland who have been Looked After continuously for at least twelve months (for the year ending 30 September 2002). The first results of this programme were published in September 2004 and the profile is summarised as follows:

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 52 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Population Characteristics

            �� 52% of the Looked After population are males

            �� 37% of the Looked After population are aged 5-11, 32% are aged 12-15, and 19% are aged 16 years and over

            �� 49% of children are from Protestant backgrounds, and 48% from Catholic backgrounds

            �� 1,608 of the 1,679 population of children come from a white ethnic background

                        Disability

            �� 11% of the children were disabled

                        Placement Change

            �� 22% of the Looked After Children had changed placement in the year ending 30 October 2002 (5% had three placement changes, 4% had two placement changes and 12% had one placement change)

                        Education

            �� 81% of Looked After Children were of school age, and of these 22% had a Statement of Special Educational Needs – compared with 3% of the total school population within Northern Ireland

            �� 26 (2%) of Looked After Children of school age were expelled in 2001/2002 – significantly higher than the rate amongst the total school population in Northern Ireland (0.02%)

            �� Over 1 in 10 (11%) Looked After Children of school age were suspended from school in 2001/2002, compared with 1.5% of the total school population in Northern Ireland

            �� 14% of children Looked After for at least twelve months missed 29 or more days of schooling in 2001/2002

            �� The levels of educational achievement for Looked After Children compared very badly with those of all children in Northern Ireland, with the gap widening between Key Stage 1 and GCSE

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 53 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                         

Cautions/Convictions

            �� 158 (15%) of the 1,076 Looked After Children aged 10 and over were cautioned and convicted in 2001/2002, compared with 1% of all children in Northern Ireland. Of those convicted almost two-thirds were boys

            �� Looked After Children aged 10 and over are 15 times more likely to have been cautioned or convicted, compared to the general population of children in this age group

                        Health

            �� Returns in relation to developmental assessments (98%), six-monthly assessments (85%), annual health assessments (86%) and immunisations (90%) are relatively positive

            �� 90% of Looked After Children had their teeth checked by a dentist in the preceding year

                        Further Education/Training

            �� At the end of school Year 12, 33% of Looked After Children remained in full-time education, 25% were employed, and 17% were in full-time training

                        The trends outlined above refer to the regional population of Looked After Children. These figures will be available for the population of Looked After Children and Young People in the Western area in the near future, and will contribute to a needs profile database. However there are additional areas that require to be built into the profile – for example indicators relating to a range of health outcomes, including psychological and emotional health. The

 

Qualification

Percentages %

Percentages %

Looked After Children in Northern Ireland

Total School Population in Northern Ireland

Level 2 or above in Key Stage 1

60

95

Level 4 or above in Key Stage 2

23

74

Level 5 or above in Key Stage 3

17

71

At least 1 GCSE at grades A* - G

52

94

At least 5 GCSE at grades A* - C

9

59

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 54 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                        establishment of the health profile database will be one of the key target areas for the forthcoming planning period.

                     4.3. Residential Provision

In August 2000 the DHSSPS, following the publication of the ‘Children Matter’ report, established a Children Matter Task Force, in order to develop a regional strategy to reconfigure and improve residential care provision. The current position in relation to planning and provision in the Western area is as follows:

Figure 11: Current Provision of Differentiated Residential Places in Foyle Trust – March 2005

Figure 12: Planned Provision of Differentiated Places in Foyle Trust 2005/2006

The new Foyle Trust Intensive Support Unit is planned for 2006/2007 providing six places. These places will replace those currently used in Glenmona (three) and Brindley House (three).

 

Unit

Type

Places

84, Chapel Road

Short-Medium Term

4

103, Chapel Road

Long-Stay

8

23, Racecourse Road

Long-Stay

8

Upper Galliagh Road

Medium Stay

8

Scroggy Road

Medium Stay

8

Rossneal

Assessment

8

Cottage

Long-Stay

3

TOTAL

47

 

Unit

Type

Places

84, Chapel Road

Semi-Independent

4

103, Chapel Road

Long-Stay

8

23, Racecourse Road

Long-Stay

8

Upper Galliagh Road

Medium Stay

8

Scroggy Road

Medium Stay

8

Rossneal

Assessment/Short-Stay

8

Cottage

Complex Needs Long-Stay

6

TOTAL

50

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 55 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Figure 13: Current Provision of Differentiated Residential Places in Sperrin Lakeland Trust - March 2005

Coneywarren is unusual in that is presently occupied by a sibling group. The Trust requires both foster and residential places for these children. It is planned that Coneywarren will close in 2005 and the new home in Enniskillen (Beechlea) will open.

Figure 14: Planned Provision of Differentiated Places in Sperrin Lakeland Trust

Sperrin Lakeland Trust plan to provide a six-place, intensive support unit for 2006/2007.

In relation to specialist provision, the WHSSB currently has access to six specialist places at Glenmona Resource Centre in Belfast. A further five specialist places are available at Brindley House, Co. Fermanagh.

Four secure accommodation places are available to the WHSSB at the Lakewood Centre in Bangor.

4.4. Fostering Provision

There are currently 235 foster homes across both Trusts, with a total capacity of 445 foster places. One hundred and forty-three foster homes (248 places) are available in Foyle Trust, with 92 foster homes (a capacity for 197 places) available in Sperrin Lakeland Trust.

The table below demonstrates that the number of Looked After Children accommodated in foster care has increased in Foyle Trust from 176 in March 1999 to 250 in March 2004, but has dropped in Sperrin Lakeland Trust from 104 in March 1999 to 75 in March 2004.

 

Unit

Type

Places

Woodlands

Short-Medium Term

8

Coneywarren

5

TOTAL

13

 

Unit

Type

Places

Woodlands

Short-Medium Term

8

Beechlea

Short-Medium Term

8

TOTAL

16

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 56 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Figure 15: Children Accommodated in Foster Care, WHSSB 1999-2005

Figure 16: Children Accommodated in Foster Care in WHSSB 1999-2005

Children Accommodated in Foster Care in WHSSB, 1999 - 20050501001502002503001999200020012002200320042005Foyle TrustSperrin LakelandTrust

4.5. Adoption and Permanency Planning

Figure 17: Adoption and Permanency Planning during 2003/2004

Whilst working to achieve the PFA target of increasing the rate of children adopted to 7% of the Children Looked After population by 31 March 2006 both Trusts have experienced difficulty in improving performance in this area. One of the major issues for Family &

 

Trust

Mar-99

Mar-00

Mar-01

Mar-02

Mar-03

Mar-04

Mar-05

Foyle Trust

176

244

246

255

266

250

234

Sperrin Lakeland Trust

104

103

101

80

79

75

72

TOTAL WHSSB

280

347

347

335

345

325

306

 

No. of ‘Best Interests’ recommendations

13

No. of these without Parental Agreement

11

No. of children placed for adoption

14

No. of children matched & placed with approved prospective adopters

5

No. of children matched & placed with foster carers who became approved prospective adopters

5

No. of approved prospective adopters awaiting domestic placement at 31 March 2004

10

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 57 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Childcare Teams has been the competing demands on current resources. So far as Sperrin Lakeland Trust is concerned this has been further compounded by the difficulty in recruiting & retaining Social Work staff. The Regional Adoption Policy & Procedures which are currently being finalised include a permanence policy in relation to adoption and arrangements are in place to develop a permanence policy for children's services. Both Trusts are making determined efforts to guard against delay in planning for children and will continue to explore every avenue towards achieving this goal.

4.6. Developing Support Services

As illustrated above, the range of needs presented by children and young people who are Looked After is highly complex. The WHSSB now has a range of small differentiated units, which require access to a menu of services in order to enable them to adopt flexible and creative responses to the assessed needs of children, and to maximise their potential. The majority of children are accommodated in foster families, where the range of needs will vary from those required to help with integration into local communities (services at Hardiker Level 1 such as access to sport/leisure facilities, youth clubs etc), to the more intensive specialised services. The following services have been identified as part of a range which needs to be consolidated or developed:

            �� The interface between Mental Health services and services for Looked After Children is of critical importance to this population characterised by multiple emotional and psychological needs. Progress has been made in making additional resources available to child and adolescent Mental Health teams which will be dedicated to Looked After Children. However, more work, aimed at creating a focused, multi-systemic service, requires to be undertaken;

            �� Over the last number of years, Looked After Children in the Western area have had access to a number of programmes provided by Extern West. These are high-intensity diversionary services (for example ‘Time Out’, Youth Support and Passport). This level of provision requires to be consolidated. The Janus programme established in 2002 in Foyle Trust, in order to provide intensive response to young people in care who were at the high risk of conflict with the law, has been particularly successful. Further Janus

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 58 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            programmes have more recently been established in Limavady, and in Strabane. These programmes need to be mainstreamed;

            �� Educational programme to improve educational outcomes for Looked After Children needs to be taken forward. Progress has been made, in collaboration the WELB to develop a joint protocol for Looked After Children, with the use of a Personal Education Plan in order to promote more integrated working between schools and Social Workers. This process needs to be enhanced, with dedicated services provided within Trusts;

            �� Improved health outcomes for Looked After Children need to be achieved via dedicated programmes to promote positive health within residential units, and in foster homes;

            �� The development of an Independent Visitor Service requires to be enhanced. A service needs to be established in Sperrin Lakeland Trust;

            �� There needs to be improved access to a range of community-based services (Levels 1 and 2) to facilitate the reintegration of children and young people, for example, recreation and leisure, youth services, individual/family counselling and support agencies, health promotion and advice, drugs/alcohol awareness;

            �� A key component of the Regional Fostering Strategy will involve enhanced training and support for foster carers, increased recruitment campaigns and a review of the financial support to foster carers.

                     4.7. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008

“To develop a range of services for children and young people in public care which will increase the capacity of the WHSSB and Trusts to comprehensively assess their needs, in collaboration with other agencies, and ensure that Care Plans can draw upon appropriate placements and other support and treatment services.”

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 59 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                     4.8. Key Result Areas 2005-2008

            �� Baseline data on Need

The key objective will be to have established the baseline data in respect of the needs of Looked After Children, and to have tracked initial progress over the timescale of the Plan.

�� Educational Outcomes

The key objective will be to have shown that the joint WELB/WHSSB education protocol document is fully operational, and to have an agreed system for sharing data which is capable of demonstrating its impact on the educational performance of Looked After Children.

�� Health Outcomes

The key objective will be to have demonstrated the key deficits in respect of health outcomes for Looked After Children, and to have agreed on the design for a dedicated health resource.

�� Quality of Care Planning

The key objective will be to have shown the extent to which Care Planning for Looked After Children meets the standards set out in Children Order Regulations and Guidance, and to have identified areas of unmet need in respect of service provision to support Care Planning.

�� Permanency Planning

The key objective will be to have demonstrated the extent to which Priorities for Action targets for children subject of Permanency have been met, and to have identified services, processes, practice developments or policy issues which could lead to improvement.

_________________________________________________________________________ �� Fostering Strategy

The key objective will be to have demonstrated how inter-agency planning and initiatives have supported the implementation plan for the Northern Ireland Fostering Strategy, and to have provided feedback, from an inter-agency perspective on its initial impact on children.

 


60 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            �� ‘Children Matter’ Task Force

The key objective will be to have assessed whether residential provision, including linked services, in the Western area is sufficient to meet the assessed needs of children, during the timescale of this Plan.

            �� Partnership Working and Collaboration

The key objective will be to have shown that the Sub-Committee has undertaken at least two new initiatives which can impact on better outcomes for Looked After Children, on the basis of cross-agency or cross-professional working.

            �� Young Person’s Participation

The key objective will be to have demonstrated that the business of the Sub-Committee has been influenced by the participation of young people who have care experience.

            �� Range of Support Services

The key objective will be to have reviewed the range of support services available to Looked After Children in each Trust, and to have identified priority services for maintenance and/or development.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 61 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                   5. Disabled Children

                     5.1. Need – Statistical Data

At 31 March 2004 a total of 2,148 children and young people aged between 0-19 years were registered as disabled according to figures recorded on the WHSSB Child Health Surveillance System. The highest numbers are in Derry Council area (751) and in Fermanagh Council area (560).

Figure 18: Module V, WHSSB Child Health Surveillance System – Analysis by Council Area

An analysis at electoral ward level, however, reveals that the local areas which have the highest rates of disabled children and young people per 1,000 of the population are in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council areas. The attached map (Figure 19) demonstrates the distribution throughout the Western area.

 

Council Area

No on Register

Population 0-19

Rate per 1000

Fermanagh

560

17,291

32.4

Derry

751

35,089

21.4

Limavady

179

10,469

17.1

Omagh

354

15,479

22.9

Strabane

304

12,048

25.2

Total

2,148

90,376

23.8

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 62 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Figure 19: Number of Disabled Children per 1,000 of Population 0-19 as at 31 March 2004

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 63 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Figure 20 provides details of the types of disability. It should be noted that a single child may have several disabilities so that there may be a significant degree of overlap between the categories of disability.

Figure 20: Children and Young People recorded on the Child Health Surveillance System by type of disability (Module V)

A second source of core data is information from the Western Education and Library Board (WELB), in relation to the numbers of children with special educational needs. There may appear to be some discrepancies in the statistical information provided by WELB, and that provided by the WHSSB. This is accounted for by the fact that, within education legislation, the term Special Educational Needs is an all-embracing term which refers to those children who may have learning difficulties, whether or not these difficulties arise from a learning disability, however defined. In reality, whilst most of the children with a learning disability will have Special Educational Needs, some may not. Alternatively, some children who have Special Educational Needs, e.g. ADHD and some on the autistic spectrum, may not come within the definition of disability. This Module V includes all children with a statement of educational needs as well as other children with disabilities.

The number of children subject to Statements of Special Educational Need by WELB in August 2004 was 1,944. The areas of Special Educational Needs are described below.

 

Type

Number

Type

Number

Mobility

546

Behaviour

946

Hearing

258

Learning

1,563

Vision

314

Self Care

1,142

Fine Motor

926

Physical

622

Communications

1,249

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 64 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Figure 21: Pupils Statemented by the WELB, August 2004

5.2. The Disabled Children’s Strategy – Summary of Key Issues

The Disabled Children’s Sub-Committee has recently updated the document entitled A Strategy for Children and Young People with a Disability which was first written in 2001 in order to take forward planning for all Disabled Children in the Western area. The (updated) assessment of areas of need is summarised as follows:

Children and Young People

            �� Life-limited children

            �� Disabled children who are vulnerable or at risk (e.g. who are in Care or in need of protection)

            �� Numbers of children on the autistic spectrum

            �� Numbers of children with learning disabilities who are not on the Informal Register

 

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEED

NO. OF PUPILS

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity

Disorder (ADHD)

14

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

123

Developmental Delay

174

Downs Syndrome

95

Emotional & Behavioural

Difficulties (EBD)

223

Hearing Impaired

68

Language

133

Learning Difficulties

138

Medical Condition

243

Moderate Learning Difficulties

464

Physical Condition

103

Severe Learning Difficulties

75

Specific Learning Difficulties

40

Visually Impaired

51

TOTAL

1,944

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 65 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            �� Participation of children and young people in both the planning and monitoring/evaluation of service delivery

                        Service Structure

            �� Equality of access to services on the basis of geography

            �� Access to Family Support Services

            �� Inconsistent thresholds between similar services

                        Healthcare

            �� Waiting times for assessments

            �� Community Health input to Special Schools (e.g. scarcity of Speech and Language Therapists and lack of sufficient Occupational Therapists, and Physiotherapists are issues strongly emphasised by parents/carers)

            �� Technology-dependent children

            �� Specialist equipment

                        Mental Health

            �� Inpatient facilities

            �� Waiting lists

                        Social Care

            �� Social Work support for families

            �� Short-break provision

            �� Residential provision

            �� Foster care

            �� After-School provision

                        Education

            �� Promoting inclusion

            �� Accessibility: curricular and physical accessibility

            �� In-service training and continuing professional development for teachers/learning support staff

            �� Role of technology/ICT

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 66 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                         

Transition Planning

            �� Co-ordination and resources

            �� Work placement

            �� Joint WHSSB/WELB commissioning

                        Training

            �� Awareness training for staff

                        Housing

            �� Disability awareness

            �� Co-ordination with other services

                        Transport

            �� Affordable and appropriate means of accessible transport

                        Acute Hospital

            �� Social Work services

            �� Allied Health Professional services

            �� Assessment and planning for disability

            �� Education provision

            �� Use of technology

            �� Staff training

                     5.3. Strategic Objectives 2005-2008

“To develop a range of services in the Western area, which build on children’s strengths, provide integrated and linked services, involve those who use the services, support families and carers, and promote the rights of disabled children and young people.”

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 67 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                     5.4. Key Result Areas 2005-2008

            �� Transition Planning

The key objective will be to have ensured that every child has a Personal Care Plan and to have demonstrated that appropriate support is available to ensure a seamless and co-ordinated passage between services – particularly in the period leading into adult services.

            �� Common Assessment Framework

The key objective will be to have demonstrated that a case planning framework has been put in place which is child-centred, is based on agreed principles of multi-disciplinary working and assessment, and is carried out with consistency across agencies and sectors.

            �� Integrated Service Provision

The key objective will be to have demonstrated that:

            �� access to multi-disciplinary assessment, treatment and support for disabled children across agencies and sectors in the WHSSB/WELB area is equitable (examples of areas to be developed include a Child Development clinic in Sperrin Lakeland Trust; new special School and Resource centre in Strabane; palliative care services for technology-dependent children; services for children with brain injury; Allied Health Professional (AHP) services; rehabilitation services; and

            �� there is evidence of better coordinated services for disabled children, parents and carers across agencies and sectors (building on the Key Worker Pilot Project in Foyle Trust).

            �� Information

The key objective will be to have:

            o developed a strategy to ensure the development and dissemination of information for disabled children, parents and carers. Information should be relevant, accessible (including available in different formats), accurate, timely, up-to-date, and delivered in a format suitable for whoever wants to use it; and

            o evidenced the early implementation of the Strategy.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 68 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

            �� Awareness Training

The key objective will be to have audited current Disability Awareness training in the WHSSB/WELB area, and to have put in place a training framework based on the audit recommendations. Awareness training should be holistic, and include, in a systematic way, those who use services in its planning and delivery.

            �� Young People’s Participation

The key objective will be to have shown that the business of the Sub-Committee has been influenced by the participation of young people. The Sub-Committee will seek to measure the impact of participation of young people on (a) its conduct of its business, and (b) the outcomes from its work.

�� Short-Term Support

The key objective will be to have:

            �� completed a position paper on the range and type of short-term support services that are needed for disabled children, families and carers; and

            �� begun to commission short-term services, subject to resource availability

            �� Resources

The key objective will be to have:

            �� established the current financial resource baseline for disabled children’s services in the WHSSB/WELB area;

            �� considered service redesign proposals and priorities; and

            �� highlighted needs and key resources deficits, which will support the Boards (WHSSB and WELB) to seek improved resourcing.

            �� Assistive Technology

The key objective will be to have shown that the potential of assistive technology has been fully understood and made available to improve the lives of disabled children, their parents and carers.

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 69 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                   6. Children with Emotional, Behavioural, Psychological or Psychiatric Difficulties

                     6.1. Need – Statistical Data

A total of 865 young people were referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams in the Western Area in 2003/2004. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams (known as Child and Family Teams) provide a range of services for children and young people up to 16 years of age, and their families.

Figure 22: Referrals to Trust Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams 2002-2004

Referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams have been subject to waiting lists. In Foyle Trust, the number on the waiting list at September 2004 was 150. 59 (39%) of these clients had been waiting for more than 12 months. In Sperrin Lakeland Trust, 82 clients were on the waiting list. 22 (27%) had been waiting for more than 12 months.

Three hundred and forty-three young people aged 16-19 years were referred to the adult Community Mental Health Teams in 2003/2004 (Figure 23). One hundred and seventeen young people aged 16-19 years were current clients of Adult Community Mental Health Teams at 31 March 2004 (Figure 24). Ninety-four young people under 20 years of age were admitted to adult wards during the year ended 31 March 2004 (Figure 25).

 

2002/2003

2003/2004

Foyle Trust

405

463

Sperrin Lakeland Trust

411

402

WHSSB Total

816

865

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 70 April 2005 ___________________________________________________________Children’s Services Plan 2005-2008

                      

Figure 23: Young People aged below 20 years referred to Community Mental Health Teams

Figure 24: Young People under 20 years who are current clients of Community Mental Health Teams 2002-2004

Figure 25: Children and Young People Admitted to Hospital (Adult Wards) 2002-2004

The Western Education and Library Board provide a wide range of services to provide guidance and support for schools. Many of these services are accessed through the five-stage WELB Code of Practice for Assessing Special Educational Needs.

Whilst there is considerable co-operation in relation to meeting the needs of children on a case-by-case basis, information systems have not yet been established to record the number of children who received services from both the WHSSB and WELB services.

 

2002/2003

2003/2004

Foyle Trust

166

164

Sperrin Lakeland Trust

129

179

WHSSB Total

295

343

 

2002/2003

2003/2004

Foyle Trust

104

77

Sperrin Lakeland Trust

61

40

WHSSB Total

165

117

 

2002/2003

2003/2004

Foyle Trust

39

39

Sperrin Lakeland Trust

32

55

WHSSB Total

71

94

 


_________________________________________________________________________ 71 April 2005