WAKEFIELD-FAMILY-SERVICEWS-2006-–-2010 by sdaferv

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									WAKEFIELD FAMILY SERVICES 2006 – 2010

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INTRODUCTION 1.1 We have a unique opportunity in Wakefield, with the creation of the Family Services Directorate, to ensure that our children, young people and their families have the support and help they need which enables them to realise their potential. By creating Family Services we are taking a “Think Family” approach. This requires a preventative focus which would allow “total family support”. Our purpose is: “Family Services work with families, individuals and communities to improve lives” 1.3 Family Services will meet its purpose by delivering our aspirations, which are       1.4 Improving the well being and life chances of individuals and families. Improving attainment and raising aspirations. Reducing anti-social behaviour and offending. Helping regeneration through improved skills and employability. Increasing community cohesion via accessible and personalised services. Improving health via self directed care, early intervention and prevention

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We commission and provide a wide range of education and support services for:      Families – through childminding services, children and family centres and nurseries. Children who have special needs or are disabled. Young people through youth services and connexions, intensive family support and education welfare services. Children at risk of physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. Children in care and placed with foster carers or in a children’s home and children who can no longer live with their birth family and require adoptive families

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Education to all children and young people throughout the District as is their statutory right, as well as educational opportunities to adults of all ages. Young offenders and those at risk of offending. People who have a disability either physical, learning, or both, through care homes, home care, day opportunities, supported employment, adaptations and equipment. People with mental health problems, ranging from support for those with mild mental illness up to exercising legal power for compulsory admission to psychiatric hospitals. People with drug and alcohol problems and ex offenders who need help with resettlement. Carers (including young carers) People who require support because they are homeless or asylum seekers Supported housing for all user groups People who are elderly through residential care homes, nursing homes, extra care, home care, community meals, day care and a range of preventative services. Promotion of equality and respect for diversity within all communities which make up the Wakefield District

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These are all vital services, providing a continuum of Family Services from the universal to the very specialist which all contribute to maintaining the fabric of the community. Like any other Service, Family Services needs to be planned and managed. However, Family Services have specific features which impact on the development and delivery of Services.    Both the Educational and Social Care aspects of Family Services provide service to individuals. The needs met by Family Services require a depth and breadth of expertise in delivery and management. Providing a full range of cost effective services is particularly challenging both within the universal provision (quantity and quality) and in the more specialist areas such as support for people with mental health problems or learning and physical disabilities, child protection and gifted and talented young people.

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Family Services has to co-operate with other agencies, Schools, Housing, Health, Police, Connexions, LSC and Probation are essential partners, as is the voluntary and independent sector. Without strong partnerships Family Services will be unable to deliver on its agenda of “Think Family” and “Total Family Support”.

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Family Services is highly regulated and it operates within a comprehensive statutory framework which is often prescriptive. Recent legislation guiding our strategic and operational development includes:    Children Act 2004 The Education & Inspections Bill 2006 “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say” 2006

2 POLICY DRIVERS 2.1 Every Child Matters (Children Act 2004) outlines the following five outcomes which are to underpin all service development.      2.2 Staying safe Being healthy Achieving and Enjoying Making a positive contribution Achieving economic well-being

“Our Health our Care our Say” 2006 equally outlines the following outcomes for adults and older people which are to underpin service development:        Ensuring personal dignity and respect Freedom from discrimination or harassment Improved health and emotional wellbeing Improved quality of life Ability to exercise choice and control To make a positive contribution To enjoy economic wellbeing

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The Education & Inspections Bill 2006 sets out a new strategic role for local authorities. We will have duties to:     Promote choice, diversity, high standards and the fulfilment of every child’s potential Respond to parental concerns Intervene earlier where school performance is poor Commission school places

In addition, the Bill will cover new legislative arrangements in the areas of Trust Schools, fair access to school admissions (with transport implications), behaviour in schools, 14 – 19 reforms and Youth Matters.

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3 STRATEGIC DIRECTION 3.1 Our “Think Family” agenda for Family Services represents a unique approach for making a difference to the future generations of Wakefield. What is “Think Family” - ? It’s about putting the family (in whatever form it takes) at the centre of everything. In essence this means that wherever there are concerns about an individual family member be it a child, an adult of working age or an older person, we will always address these needs in the context of the whole family rather than the individual whose needs are presented. It also means we should do much more to promote cross generational activities and other initiatives which promote both community and family cohesion. We recognise that there has to be a continuum of Family Services from the universal to the very specialised. Services need to be available to families where and when they need them and this should drive our future investment strategy. In particular there should be an increasing emphasis on selfdirected solutions, early intervention and prevention to keep families away from the very expensive “heavy end” services. We want families to feel confident and able to access the range of services available. This is particularly true for the vulnerable and isolated. This directs us towards making services locally accessible wherever possible. Family Services should be developed so everything it commissions or provides contributes to the wider aims of tackling social exclusion, promoting healthy active communities and helping people to be independent. All of this requires the Directorate to review consistently:    What services we deliver and the ways we deliver them. How and which services we commission How and when we partner others to deliver effective accessible and consistent services

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Strategic Commissioning requires the Directorate to take a longer term view of the requirements of the people of the District; for example do we have the right number of schools in the right place with buildings fit for the future or sufficient alternatives to residential care for older people?

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4 DELIVERING A VISION FOR FAMILY SERVICES 4.1 By 2010 Family Services should:        Be commissioning and delivering Services that address the needs of the whole family (Think Family) Services are built around the needs of the Family (all our users are centre stage) All services work to shared priorities within the Directorate and with our partners (sharing governance and partnerships). We have locally accessible and responsive services (delivered by a skilled, diverse and effective workforce) Resources are used in a different way (strategic commissioning is functioning well). Emphasis is on prevention and early intervention (reduction in specialist provision) Common processes for assessment and information sharing are used (telling the story once).

5 REALISING OUR ASPIRATIONS 5.1 Prioritising independence, raising attainment, addressing disadvantages, supporting families and safeguarding the vulnerable will be our core business     Over the next 3 years we will continue to reduce the reliance on institutional care by promoting individualised budgets, and by the development of strategies focusing on prevention. We will be seeking new ways of working with business partners and schools to influence and challenge the attainment and aspirations of young people and their families We will redouble our efforts within the child protection system and with the introduction of Adult Safeguarding procedures. We will develop the early years and extended schools agenda to provide opportunities for stability and growth for families

5.2

The use of Directorate resources to support the development and maintenance of sustainable communities and the socially excluded.   Strategic commissioning of Services will play a key role in ensuring appropriate Services are available within localities and communities to meet identified needs. Working with schools as new Trust arrangements are developed will require us to strengthen our commissioning and challenge our current relationships.

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Ensuring our 14 -19 year olds have sufficient opportunity to access and sustain employment, whilst facilitating opportunities through social enterprises for the most disadvantaged. More widely Family Services can make an important contribution through mainstream services to wider Local Authority led programmes to include the problem of homelessness, poor housing conditions and social exclusion in deprived neighbourhoods.

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Working in partnership to maximise the health, education and social well being of Wakefield residents.    We cannot deliver services to maximise well being without working in partnership as so many other services impact on our families. Partnerships within the Council need to be strengthened through the delivery of Total Family Support. Partnerships with agencies external to the Council can help us reshape services, make them more accessible and equitable and reduce duplication. We will be seeking to work more with the 3rd Sector. Partnership with those who use any of the Services is an important aspect for us. Family Services will need to develop their inclusion in the planning for and commissioning of services.

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5.4

Achieving the highest standards and performance in all services  High quality and good value services can only be achieved if there are sound management, information and performance systems in place. We have made such systems available. We need to continually re-assess them to ensure they are fit for purpose. We need to continue with our investment in technology and information systems so there is consistency in accessibility and application across the Directorate. We will continue to reshape and review our workforce with a continued focus on  sickness management  review of terms and conditions  recruitment/selection and retention measures to combat staff skills/staff shortages.  strengthening management capability and capacity  Transformation of the workplace using technology

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WE NEED TO DO ALL THIS BECAUSE       We will continue with a difficult financial situation where demand and expectation is likely to outstrip available funds. We need to shape the structure of the Directorate to enable a Family Services culture to grow. We need to ensure we have sufficient management capacity to allow for future development. We need to further develop the Third Sector. We will develop our commissioning function and continue to reduce our direct provision. We will support/enable effective market development

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IN MOVING FORWARD IT MEANS    Reducing still further services we directly provide in favour of commissioned or partnership arrangements. Continuous investment in the capacity and capability of the workforce. Embracing partnerships for a wider range of agencies to provide better outcomes for all families.

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CONCLUSION If the strategic direction, its objectives and principles are accepted and achieved we will be in a position to meet the needs and challenge the aspirations of Wakefield citizens.

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