Planning

Planning

What is required by Plan 21-24?

Scotland will have a national, strategic planning process in place that ensures that children who are cared from away from their family of origin ‘belong to a loving home.’

The planning process will reflect the needs of Scotland’s children and young people whilst

operating with the expectation that more children will remain with their families.

It will reflect the principles of the promise ensuring:

  • Scotland’s most vulnerable children are not profited from;
  • Standards of care are consistent;
  • End to the selling of care placements to Local Authorities outside Scotland; and
  • Acute and crisis services are phased out to promote early intervention and prevention.

What has The Promise Scotland heard so far?

Throughout engagements, the need for a national process to manage the provision of care placements was highlighted.

Organisations relayed concerns around the availability of placements to ensure brothers and sisters live together, along with concerns from several Local Authorities about the perceived increase in relation to children being sent from English Local Authorities to residential care homes in Scotland. This was making it difficult for Local Authorities to plan services and support.

Some organisations highlighted the power of commissioning to ensure the promise was embedded in practice expectations

There is movement and commitment to a strategic planning process around Secure Care, and whilst there needs to be a clear process around Residential and Foster Care, this is a welcome first step.

The Scottish Government’s commitment to reducing cross border placements into Secure Care is welcome, however there are concerns that cases continue to arrive at the Court of Session in relation to the placement of children in Scotland from English Local Authorities into residential children’s homes that is at odds with the policy intention of the promise.

What has been committed to so far?

  • The Care Inspectorate has formed a working group and engaging with the Scottish Government.
  • The Care Inspectorate has developed an information-sharing protocol with Ofsted and a process for escalating concerns where a child or young person is placed outside Scotland, meaning the Care Inspectorate is left with no locus. Additionally, a group has been established to examine the challenges around cross border placements to improve notification processes.
  • Scottish Government are committed to reducing the numbers of cross border placements into Secure accommodation and work has begun with COSLA, Secure Care Services and Scotland Excel to explore new funding mechanisms, particularly considering the need to remove 16- and 17-year-olds from Young Offenders Institutions, as per the Youth Justice action.
  • The Kinship Care Collaborative, set up under a 2019 Programme for Government commitment , is intended to resolve the significant variation in support for kinship carers across Scotland.

Who are the lead organisations?

There are a number of groups facilitated by Scottish Government and/or COSLA that have key responsibility including The Kinship Care Collaborative and The Secure Care Group.

Overall, The Scottish Government, COSLA have key responsibility, with Care Inspectorate having a vital role in monitoring and assurance.

Scotland Excel, Secure Care Providers and YOI provision have a key role to play.

Links, Next Steps and Assessment

Work is underway but does not yet appear sufficient.

There is critical need to prioritise planning for siblings, secure care and youth justice to ensure policy and legislative commitments are enacted.

With the English Care Review publishing its Case for Change in June 2021 there is a need for understanding and cooperation across the 4 nations of the UK to understand the consequences of each nation’s approach to placements.

 

 

Investment

What is required by Plan 21-24?

Investment in the lives of children and families will be considered strategically and holistically in the context of their experiences.

The Human and Economic Cost modelling that underpinned Follow the Money and The Money reports will be embedded into organisational and budgeting processes across Scotland. That process will have involved organisations working together to spread investment, align budgets and pool resources.

What has The Promise Scotland heard so far?

Interest in adopting and rolling out the Human and Economic Cost Model that underpinned Follow the Money has been high across all meetings to date and potential alignment with existing work programmes is strong, including but not limited to:

  • Wellbeing economy approach
  • Social Innovation Partnership (SIP) projects
  • Family Support work
  • Planning for children’s services
  • Child poverty
  • Participatory budgeting
  • Procurement and commissioning

There is a need to ensure cohesion and collaboration in the roll out of HECM. Using money and investing differently to make a genuinely transformational and sustainable shift in services, and outcomes requires high levels of joint working across multiple work programmes and organisations. 

It also requires a focus on the scrutiny landscape. The inspection and regulation of services influences what is delivered and, whilst there is high interest and appetite for change, at the moment, these landscapes are disconnected.

Achieving the actions required by Plan 21-24 needs connection and cohesion with existing scrutiny and governance frameworks redesigned to align with what services need to deliver to meet the needs of children and families.

What has been committed to so far?

  • The Clackmannanshire Alliance have committed to using the Human and Economic Cost Model approach during 2021/22 to progress work on using money differently and beginning in Clackmannanshire.
  • Building on the Partnership’s work to develop their Strategic Needs Assessment and Children’s Services Plan, The Promise Scotland will help them identify how much they are currently spending, directly and indirectly, on children and families in and around the care system. Following this, the Clackmannanshire Alliance and The Promise Scotland will jointly design a model for how that money could be spent more effectively in future in the area, to improve outcomes and deliver better value for money. Within this, the extent of strategic investment required to achieve that vision, and innovative ways of delivering that investment will be identified.
  • In doing so, exploration of how to pool resources across the partnership and how to develop and implement family-based resourcing plans on a cross-partnership basis will take place.

Who are the lead organisations?

The Promise Scotland, Clackmannanshire and Scottish Government are lead organisations in the current stage of this work.

There are several organisations that will play a key ongoing role, including but not limited to COSLA, local authorities and third sector organisations.

Links, Next Steps and Assessment

Work is underway.

Timeline:

The route map and engagement strategy developed by late Summer 2021 will determine a timeline and process that can be scrutinised and monitored.

The governance and accountability framework completed by Autumn 2021 will provide a structure which can be used to ensure progress is on track.

A programme for scaling and expanding this work during Plan 21-24 will be produced by the end of 2021-22.

 

 

Information Sharing

What is required by Plan 21-24?

Organisations with responsibilities towards children and families will be confident about when, where why and how to share information with partners.

Information sharing will not be a barrier to supporting children and families.

What has The Promise Scotland heard so far?

Concerns about information sharing are ongoing and commitment to a refresh of GIRFEC has been welcomed across many organisations.

For Local Authorities in particular, information sharing across authorities on different communication platforms and databases were obstacles to change which need further focus and resource. Some Local Authorities were reviewing their practices, learning from changes that were put in place in response to the pandemic.

There were ongoing concerns about the sharing of the personal data of children and families.

The importance of joining up GIRFEC, the promise and the UNCRC was seen as critical for many organisations.

What has been committed to so far?

  • The Scottish Government has committed to a refresh of GIRFEC including an information sharing charter for the workforce.
  • This group is engaging with children and young people to get their input and there will be a final consultation period.
  • The aim is to get to publication phase in late 2021.

Who are the lead organisations?

The Scottish Government and COSLA have lead responsibility to overcome barriers, with practice responsibility sitting with care providers, Local Authorities and Health Boards.

Links, Next Steps and Assessment

Work is underway but does not yet appear sufficient.

Assessing the range of activity in relation to building confidence requires monitoring and evaluation.