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North Yorkshire To Lead £84m Government Programme

North Yorkshire To Lead £84m Government Programme

Published by Karen Liu at 12:55pm 3rd October 2019.

North Yorkshire has been chosen to lead an £84 million Government roll out to councils across the UK which includes the council’s ground-breaking programme to support children and young people at risk of entering care.

North Yorkshire is one of only three councils in the country (the other two are Leeds and Hertfordshire) to share £84 million in a landmark initiative called the Strengthening Families Protecting Children programme, to work with other councils and develop their services to become more successful in supporting young people on the edge of care to reconnect with their families and reduce risky behaviour.

Already North Yorkshire has been supporting Middlesbrough as a trailblazer to adopt its ground-breaking No Wrong Door programme and over the next five years will also support Rochdale, Redcar and Cleveland, Norfolk, Warrington and Leicester City.

The No Wrong Door scheme which is lauded nationally for its innovation and effectiveness, has improved radically the life chances of some of the county’s most vulnerable and troubled young people, reducing the numbers ending up either homeless or in the criminal system. 

No Wrong Door has helped to reduce North Yorkshire’s looked-after population by 18 per cent in five years and has led to a £2m year-on-year saving.

The vast majority of young people (86 per cent) referred to No Wrong Door remain out of the care system and the use of residential placements has fallen by half. 

The vast majority of young people supported by No Wrong Door also remain in education, employment or training and levels of criminal activity have reduced by almost 40 per cent.

No Wrong Door avoids the high costs of placement breakdown, of having to use out-of-authority care and preventing young people’s descent into the very expensive criminal justice system.

North Yorkshire now makes no out-of-county placements which, given that it costs upwards of £250,000 a year and can go up to several hundred thousand to place a young person in care outside the area of the council, this improvement delivers substantial savings.  

County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said:

“We are immensely proud to be doing this work and extending the No Wrong Door model to councils across the UK.

Here in North Yorkshire we are passionately committed to helping young people turn their back on risky behaviour and to keeping them close to us and their communities with therapeutic, wrap-around, 24/7 support.  

We are building an international reputation for this ground-breaking work and this Government funding, announced today, will help us to develop the programme further.

It has attracted a huge amount of interest because of its effectiveness in keeping children out of care and reconnected with their families and communities and in supporting young people living risky lives to stay safe and achieve in education and in the work place.”

Children and Families Minister Michelle Donelan said:

“I want every child to grow up in safe, stable and loving home where they feel supported to take on the challenges life can present.

However we have seen increasing numbers of children being taken into care, often as a result of their parents’ mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction, or the trauma of domestic violence.
We cannot ignore the disruption to children’s lives that these issues cause, and that is why this government is investing in projects that tackle problems head on, backed by evidence that shows it can work.

The No Wrong Door model is already proving to be successful in keeping families safely together, and giving stability for children where it did not exist before.”

North Yorkshire is already a Partner in Practice for the Department for Education, an exemplar children’s service which supports and works alongside other authorities to share good practice and develop long-term and sustainable high performance.

No Wrong Door has attracted national awards for innovation in social work practice and the county’s children’s services are judged outstanding by Ofsted in all categories.

No Wrong Door addresses the chronic problems the care system faces of lack of mental health support for vulnerable young people and foster placements, which frequently break down because of the young people’s behaviour.

The service is centred on two hubs in the county, one in Scarborough, the other in Harrogate which replace traditional council run children’s homes with a range of integrated provision.  

This includes residential care home beds; emergency residential beds; community foster family placements; supported accommodation and supported lodgings and outreach support.  

All professionals working in the hubs are trained and work in common with a restorative and solutions-focused approach.

Each hub also has a dedicated and embedded team with a life coach who is a clinical psychologist, a speech and communications therapist and a police intelligence role. 

Each young person is given one key worker who sticks with them to access the right services at the right time and in the right place to meet their need. 

NYCC will receive this significant Strengthening Families Government funding over 5 years to support the implementation of the No Wrong Door model into the six other councils.  

They will be expected to make significant savings, similar to those realised in North Yorkshire through reduced number of young people who are remanded to custody; involved in criminal behaviour; in out of authority placements; missing; experiencing placement breakdown; and involved in crisis presentations to mental health and emergency hospital services.


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