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Making the difference for young people moving on from care

short term service.7 NCAS have produced a report on care leaver’s utilisation of supporting people services. 8

Supporting People funding is not on a statutory basis and therefore individuals do not have a right to be provided with it, nor does the local authority have a duty to provide a Supporting People funded service. Therefore, when a young person leaving care reaches the age of 18 they will not automatically be provided with a Supporting People funded service. It is up to Local authorities to decide what services they fund with their allocation.

Local Area Agreements

Local Area Agreements (LAAs) are 3 year (2008 – 2011) statutory agreements between Central Government (through the regional Government Offices), local authorities and their partners. They focus on both national outcomes and meeting local priorities. The Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) are responsible for delivering Local Area Agreements. Funding to deliver the LAA is allocated through a non-ring-fenced grant (for core services), non-ring-fenced area based grant (for policy driven area and is likely to include the Supporting People Grant from 2009) and specific ring- fenced and non ring-fenced grants. The performance framework for the LAA will consist of 198 Central Government National Indicators (NIs).

There are two indicators that particularly reference care leavers:

  • NI 147 measures the percentage of care leavers in suitable accommodation at the age of 19. The definition of suitable accommodation for this indicator is safe, secure and affordable provision for young people, including short term accommodation, but not emergency, bed and breakfast or custody.

  • NI 148 measures the percentage of care leavers in employment, education and training at age 19.

Local authorities have now identified up to 35 improvement indicators from the 198 NIs, which they will report on to the Government Office. Local authorities’ performance on the whole national indicator set will be assessed through a Comprehensive Area Assessment by the Audit Commission through a framework developed by a collaboration of ‘watchdogs’ including Ofsted and the Commission of Social Care Inspectorate. LAAs may provide opportunities for joint commissioning to meet the accommodation and support needs of young people leaving care; it is however disappointing that only one local authority (West Sussex) has chosen NI147 as a priority target.

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See http://www.spclientrecord.org.uk/webdata/ for data on care leavers

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A home not a safety net

www.leavingcare.org

October 2008

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