Care leavers’ accommodation framework: Ofsted’s perspective

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Information about Care leavers’ accommodation framework: Ofsted’s perspective

Published on September 29, 2015

Author: Ofstednews

Source: slideshare.net

1. Ofsted’s perspective Matthew Brazier HMI National Lead (Looked-after children) Care leavers’ accommodation framework - launch event 29 September 2015

2. Single inspections of local authority children’s services Universal programme began in November 2013 – 68 published reports to date – inspection cycle due to be completed in 2017 Broad scope – covers help and protection, looked after children, including adoption, and care leavers – undertaken at the same time as a review of the local safeguarding children board Includes a separate judgement on the experiences and progress of care leavers for the first time

3. How does Ofsted evaluate the experiences and progress of care leavers?  Case tracking/sampling and speaking to children and young people, staff and managers are the most important aspects of the inspection methodology in single inspections

4. Questions we ask How well do local authorities meet their responsibilities towards 16-17 year olds who may be homeless or at risk of homelessness? How well are care leavers prepared for independence? Are they living in high-quality, safe, permanent and affordable accommodation that meets their needs? How robustly does the local authority check the suitability of young people’s accommodation? What are young people themselves say? Do they feel well- supported? Do they feel safe?

5. Inspection outcomes – the experiences and progress of care leavers Slide 8 of 27

6. Care leavers - key messages from inspection  In approximately a third of inspected local authorities, care leavers do not have access to a sufficient range of suitable accommodation. The best-performing authorities have established:  productive partnerships with a range of supported accommodation providers  young people were able to remain with their carers beyond eighteen years of age  young people’s wishes were taken into account and they did not leave care until they were ready. Slide 8 of 27

7. Care leavers - key messages from inspection (cont’d)  In several local authorities, young people have said that they were not given enough help at the earliest possible stage to get ready for independence  The use of bed and breakfast accommodation for some care leavers in some authorities reflects a serious shortage of available emergency short-term and emergency provision in too many local authorities  A quarter of single inspections resulted in recommendations in relation to the quality and choice of accommodation for care leavers Slide 8 of 27

8. Care leavers - key messages from inspection (cont’d)  Recommendations for improving the quality of pathway plans were made in nearly two thirds of single inspections (64%)  Awareness and access to entitlements for care leavers is still problematic – recommendations made in 35% of inspections Slide 8 of 27

9. Examples from inspection Newham – ‘good’ for care leavers ‘The range of accommodation is designed to meet individual needs [of care leavers] at various stages of their transition… they are able to begin planning safely for independence’ Halton – ‘good’ for care leavers Staying put opportunities were good; no use of B&B; good use of floating support Salford – ‘good’ for care leavers ‘The range of supported accommodation options is good, providing various levels of support that enable young people to move towards independence at their own pace…young people [were] given strong additional support to start again when arrangements had broken down or had not worked out as they had hoped.’

10. Challenges lie ahead  Supported accommodation is unregulated – a decision for government  The quality and availability of supported accommodation is too variable – Ofsted will continue to highlight and challenge poor practice  What should inspections of care leavers’ services look like post-2017? Single inspections of local authority children’s services: www.gov.uk/government/collections/ofsted-inspections-of-local-authority-childrens-services

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