Hello from the Preparing for Adulthood Team!
A happy new year to you all and welcome to our winter e-bulletin, filling you in on everything we have been working on over the autumn. In the last few months we have been busy catching up with our demonstrations sites, learning about all the fantastic work underway. We may have seen some of you at one of a series of regional events we held on partnership working in preparing for adulthood.
Progress for Our Demonstration Sites
On 7th December the demonstration sites came together to share their learning from the PfA programme so far. We met at London Council’s building in Southwark and spent the day sharing what we were pleased about, what our challenges have been, and what our next steps are.
Employment is a key outcome for PfA, and the demonstration sites have developed a range of tools and processes to support disabled young people to access different opportunities. Newcastle have developed a forum for post-16 providers including the local health trust which has been involved in giving placements to 44 young people, 27 of whom then found employment. They are working hard to engage other local employers, to create supported internships and other creative opportunities for disabled young people.
Education Health and Care Plans
A number of sites have been thinking about how to ensure robust PfA outcomes are in EHC Plans. Kingston and Richmond have established a process governance group which includes disabled children and young people and their families, and will establish a strategic lead for EHC. In addition, from September 2017 all post-year 9 plans will have a focus on PfA. Leeds have built on their child friendly Leeds day to run a training event on PfA. They also hold moderation sessions which include young people and parent carers to quality check plans.
Bath and North East Somerset gathered a group of young people who led a meeting on capturing young people’s voices in plans and developing one page profiles. Plan writers have been employed in special schools, and plans are in place to work with local FE providers to ensure that disabled young people are supported to be college ready. Dudley are working to ensure that the voice of the child/young person comes through in the plans and are aiming to further develop plans using technological support. Portsmouth have been developing some housing guidance to support young people to plan for independent living from year 9, following a workshop with young disabled adults to capture their views.
Personalisation and Personal Budgets
This is a challenging area for many demonstration sites, as it often represents a significant shift from established models of commissioning. Cheshire and West Chester have been an Integrated Personalised Commissioning (IPC) site for the past 2 years, and are aiming to increase uptake for personal budgets over the next few years. The area have developed 4 exemplar EHC plans with personal budgets which demonstrate good practice.
Joint Commissioning and Integrated Working
Hertfordshire have developed a young commissioners programme where schools have trained 6 young people (aged 16-25) to act as commissioners and to provide challenge to local integrated commissioning. Plans are in place to train more disabled children and young people to take part, and a film will be developed to showcase the programme.
It was great to be able to come together with the demonstration sites to hear about the range of work underway and to see areas working hard to change the system for families. We will be sharing some specific examples from different sites in more detail over the coming months. Please keep an eye on our website www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk for more in-depth learning examples.
Thank you again to everyone who is on this journey with us, we look forward to the fantastic developments ahead in 2017. Click here to continue reading the full newsletter.