Sweet 16? One Year On – Is Life Any Sweeter? - Scotland's ...

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Sweet 16? One Year On – Is Life Any Sweeter? - Scotland's ...

Sweet 16 One Year OnIs Life Any Sweeter

Kathleen Marshall

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People

Analysis of Local Authority Survey Responses: 24 March 2009


About this survey

On 25 March 2008, I laid before the Scottish Parliament a report entitled Sweet 16 The age of

leaving care in Scotland.

This survey of local authorities was conducted to find out whether and how the recommendations of

that report had been taken forward by local authorities.

The essence of the responses is included in a follow up report Sweet 16 Is it any sweeter which

was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 25 March 2009. Numbers may differ slightly between that

report and this analysis due to the late submission of some responses which have been fully taken

into account in this analysis but not in the published report.

Some interpretation of the responses was involved in allocating them to particular headings in this

analysis. The full responses of individual local authorities are available on request. These might help

local workers to compare their understanding of the situation with the local authority response.

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 2 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


CONTENTS

1. Local Authority Survey ................................................................................................. 4

2. Questions about promoting responsibilities ................................................................ 4

2.1 Promoting Corporate Parenting .................................................................................................. 4

2.2 Engagement with Housing Services............................................................................................. 6

2.3 Residential School Placements.................................................................................................... 8

3. Questions about Moving Forward............................................................................... 11

3.1 Promoting 18 rather than 16 as the age for leaving care..............................................................11

3.2 Appropriate accommodation......................................................................................................14

3.3 Being made “Homeless”............................................................................................................17

3.4 Coming back into care for short periods of support .....................................................................20

4. Gathering Statistics .................................................................................................... 23

4.1 Bed & Breakfast .......................................................................................................................23

4.2 Hostels for the homeless...........................................................................................................25

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 3 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


1. Local Authority Survey

A questionnaire was issued to local authorities on 22 January 2009, with a response date of

23 February. A reminder was sent to those who had not replied with a second deadline of 13

March. 3 responses were received after the second deadline and two of these were able to be

incorporated in the report laid before Parliament. The response from Fife was too late for the

report but is included in this analysis, meaning that it now reflects the responses from every

local authority in Scotland.

2. Questions about promoting responsibilities

2.1 Promoting Corporate Parenting

There appears to have been a lot of activity around the corporate parenting theme. The

following table shows particular initiatives referred to. The fact that something is not referred

to does not necessarily mean that the authority concerned has not done this, as they were

asked a general question and may have taken different approaches to identifying what to put

in their responses. So this represents the minimum of activity in each column rather than the

full picture.

The question asked was: Have you engaged with councillors to promote their responsibilities

as corporate parents (Recommendation 3) If so, how

Local Authority Policy Report Event Action

Group

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire

CYP

involved

“Champions”

for

individual

LAC

3 Angus

4 Argyll and Bute

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar


6 Clackmannanshire

7 Dumfries and

Galloway



8 Dundee

9 East Ayrshire

10 East

Dunbartonshire


11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire

13 Edinburgh

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 4 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority Policy Report Event Action

Group

14 Falkirk

15 Fife

16 Glasgow

17 Highland

CYP

involved

“Champions”

for

individual

LAC

18 Inverclyde

19 Midlothian

20 Moray

21 North Ayrshire

22 North Lanarkshire

23 Orkney Islands

24 Perth and Kinross

25 Renfrewshire

26 Scottish Borders

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire

29 South Lanarkshire

30 Stirling

31 West

Dunbartonshire



32 West Lothian

Total 18 8 17 12 9 7

18 of the local authorities referred specifically or by strong implication to a corporate

parenting policy. Eight referred to a report to a committee or to members. 17 referred to

corporate parenting events for elected members. 12 had set up groups to take the issue

forward in their area. Nine referred to events or groups that involved children and young

people. Seven were developing some sort of “Children’s Champion” role for officials or elected

members, in which senior officials were given specific responsibility for tracking the progress

of individual looked after children. (Two others - Glasgow and Highland - had more general

“Champion” models.)

2.2 Engagement with Housing Services

The question asked was: Have you engaged with housing services to emphasise their role as

part of the corporate parent (Recommendation 12) if so, how

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 5 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Responses referred to a variety of approaches to address this issue:

Local Authority Strategy Protocol Forum Working

relationships

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire

3 Angus

4 Argyll and Bute

Event

Stock

transfer

issues

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar



6 Clackmannanshire

7 Dumfries and

Galloway


8 Dundee

9 East Ayrshire

10 East

Dunbartonshire



11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire

13 Edinburgh

14 Falkirk

15 Fife

16 Glasgow

17 Highland

18 Inverclyde

19 Midlothian

20 Moray

21 North Ayrshire

22 North Lanarkshire

23 Orkney Islands

24 Perth and Kinross

25 Renfrewshire

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 6 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority Strategy Protocol Forum Working

relationships

26 Scottish Borders

Event

Stock

transfer

issues

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire

29 South Lanarkshire

30 Stirling

31 West

Dunbartonshire


32 West Lothian

Total 9 9 16 13 7 3

Responses on relationships with housing services were mixed. There was much reference to

protocols, strategies and meetings. There were a few very positive references, many more

neutral ones, and some that indicated that there was still some way to go on this. Edinburgh

reports some positive developments but indicates that “further work is required”. North

Ayrshire reports that relationships have “improved substantially” over the past few years.

South Lanarkshire reports a “very positive” relationship with many Housing and Technical

Services. Fife said a Housing officer was attached and collocated with the Leaving Care Team

and provided invaluable advice and guidance to workers in the team. This worker also

completes a housing assessment on all young people referred to the Leaving Care Team and

can help access emergency accommodation for formerly looked after young people.

Inverclyde described issues relating to the stock transfer as “problematic”. CnES said this

situation meant the situation was “not straight forward.” HHP does not accept that it has a

corporate parent role that takes precedence over its responsibilities towards other client

groups. Glasgow refers to a successful protocol with GHA but also hopes for “stronger links”

with them once the results of a recent survey are analysed.

2.3 Residential School Placements

The question was: Have you engaged with education colleagues about funding of children in

residential schools (Recommendation 10) If so, how

Local Authority

Joint

budget/

funding

Not always

appropriate

post school

leaving age

Reviewing

out of area

placements

Integrated

education/

social work

service

Joint

decisions

Protocol

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire

3 Angus

4 Argyll and Bute

5 Comhairle Nan

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 7 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

Joint

budget/

funding

Not always

appropriate

post school

leaving age

Reviewing

out of area

placements

Integrated

education/

social work

service

Joint

decisions

Protocol

Eilean Siar

(forthcoming)

6 Clackmannanshire

7 Dumfries and

Galloway


8 Dundee

9 East Ayrshire

10 East

Dunbartonshire


11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire

13 Edinburgh

14 Falkirk

15 Fife

16 Glasgow

17 Highland

18 Inverclyde

19 Midlothian

20 Moray

21 North Ayrshire

22 North Lanarkshire

23 Orkney Islands

24 Perth and Kinross

25 Renfrewshire

26 Scottish Borders

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire

29 South Lanarkshire

30 Stirling

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 8 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

Joint

budget/

funding

Not always

appropriate

post school

leaving age

Reviewing

out of area

placements

Integrated

education/

social work

service

Joint

decisions

Protocol

31 West

Dunbartonshire


32 West Lothian

Total 14 1 3 4 16 2

Angus Council says decisions are made with respect to the best interests of the child rather

than a blanket policy that children leave accommodation at 16.

Clackmannanshire says young people will stay so long as it is in their best interests.

Dumfries and Galloway indicate a willingness to maintain young people in residential schools

beyond 16 if appropriate.

East Dunbartonshire refer to the posts of Principal Teacher LAAC within Education, and Care

Plan Reviewing Officer within Social Work as contributions towards good communication

between the two services. Their involvement in the review process ensures that decisions are

based on the young person’s educational and social needs and not solely on their age.

Edinburgh has its own residential school for boys. Current policy is to keep young people in

Edinburgh unless there are exceptional circumstances. Requests for extensions to out-ofauthority

placements post school leaving date are considered if there is a clear rationale and

if this enables a smooth transition to a supportive placement.

Falkirk says a recent review noted the joint responsibilities beyond statutory school leaving

date and adds that the work is ongoing.

Fife said issues about inter-service co-operation would be progresses through the Corporate

Parenting Group.

The Inverclyde budget is joint, but funding for residential placements is managed by social

work who will maintain young people in placement beyond their school leaving age where

this is assessed as sin their best interests. Nevertheless there is reference to joint decision

making.

Midlothian has funded residential school places up until 18 where this is in the interests of the

young person and their needs cannot be met in Midlothian.

North Ayrshire education and social services meet every two weeks to consider all

applications for residential school placements including request for the young person to

remain in education beyond their 16 th birthday.

South Ayrshire’s joint funding group has considered the situation of young people over 16

and has a proven history of support in residential schools beyond 16 if appropriate.

Stirling say they have funded transitional support from the residential school.

West Dunbartonshire sat young people can remain in their placement beyond 16 where it is

an agreed part of their care plan.

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 9 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


3. Questions about Moving Forward

3.1 Promoting 18 rather than 16 as the age for leaving care

The question was: What steps are you taking with social care staff to promote 18 rather than

16 as the age for leaving care (Recommendations 3, 4, 5)

Local Authority

There is no

expectation

about

leaving at

16

Encouragement Guidance Training Procedures Resources

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire

3 Angus

4 Argyll and Bute

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar


6 Clackmannanshire

7 Dumfries and

Galloway


8 Dundee

9 East Ayrshire

10 East

Dunbartonshire


11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire

13 Edinburgh

14 Falkirk

15 Fife

16 Glasgow

17 Highland

18 Inverclyde

19 Midlothian

20 Moray

21 North Ayrshire

22 North Lanarkshire

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 10 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

There is no

expectation

about

leaving at

16

Encouragement Guidance Training Procedures Resources

23 Orkney Islands

24 Perth and Kinross

25 Renfrewshire

26 Scottish Borders

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire

29 South Lanarkshire

30 Stirling

31 West

Dunbartonshire


32 West Lothian

Total 15 7 5 6 9 7

Aberdeen City says a recent initiative (ART project) did not support this recommendation

because departure is sometimes dependent on choice and how well the young person

engages, as opposed to need.

Argyll & Bute and Renfrewshire both said there was no pressure to leave at 16 but they were

nevertheless discussing the issue within their authority.

CnES points to the mixed messages given by the fact that applications for housing must be

considered from anyone aged 16+. They believe this sends out a message that 16 is an

acceptable age to leave home and is difficult to fit with the recommendation that youngsters

in care should not be encouraged to move on until 18.

East Dunbartonshire have varied the registration of one of their children’s units to enable the

provision of accommodation with support post 18 to meet the needs of one young person.

Edinburgh claims significant progress in changing the culture of leaving at 16, largely due to

the development of an Attachment Promoting model within residential units where the

significance of relationships made between young people and residential staff is recognised.

Fife has changed the remit of one of the residential children’s homes to concentrate on young

people aged 16 and over, preparing them for various forms of independent living.

Midlothian Council has notified the care Commission to request that the registration of all

residential units is altered to an upper age limit of 18.

Moray Council have provided additional resources for 6 young people who were unable to

remain in residential provision out of area post school leaving age.

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 11 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Orkney refers to a recent initiative to provide significant numbers of supported

accommodation places for 17 – 25 year olds. It is intended to complement this by recruitment

of a specialist 16+ social worker to provide intensive social work assistance to vulnerable

young people.

Scottish Borders recognise the need to provide more housing options post 16, including

supported accommodation and supported lodgings/ carers.

3.2 Appropriate accommodation

The question was: What steps are you taking to provide better/more appropriate

accommodation for care leavers (Recommendation 7)

Local Authority

Semiindependent

units

Support

for YP

Flats

Supported

tenancies

Supported

lodgings

Processes/

other

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire Review of

options

3 Angus under

consideration

4 Argyll and Bute planned planned

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar

aware of

the need



6 Clackmannanshire pilot June

2009

7 Dumfries and

Galloway


8 Dundee if required

9 East Ayrshire planned

10 East

Dunbartonshire

being

explored

11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire 2 new

“scatter”

flats

11 new for

all including

care leavers

13 Edinburgh 25

places


scoping

exercise


14 Falkirk for

vulnerable

women -

under

consideration


Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 12 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

Semiindependent

units

Support

for YP

Flats

Supported

tenancies

Supported

lodgings

Processes/

other

15 Fife

16 Glasgow Audit &

17 Highland planned planned planned

18 Inverclyde in strategy

recruiting

more

Protocol

19 Midlothian new 5-bed

with priority

for care

leavers

8 new

flats

with

priority

for care

leavers

in

Edinburgh

20 Moray strategy

being

developed

21 North Ayrshire Protocol with

Housing

22 North Lanarkshire Discussions

and strategy

about

temporary

accommodation

23 Orkney Islands for

homeless

and care

leavers

24 Perth and Kinross

planned

25 Renfrewshire planned

26 Scottish Borders

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire

29 South Lanarkshire

30 Stirling for young

parents. More

planned for



Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 13 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

Semiindependent

units

Support

for YP

Flats

Supported

tenancies

Supported

lodgings

Processes/

other

all

31 West

Dunbartonshire

joint funding

– Social work

and education

for some work

32 West Lothian

Total 11 7 5 12 14 14

CnES reports that the chalets criticised in Sweet 16 Are no longer used for care leavers, but

there are significant difficulties in obtaining alternative accommodation in Stornoway. A youth

housing strategy is being developed.

East Lothian says there are pledges from the corporate parenting event to develop specialist

accommodation for young people who cannot manage mainstream accommodation.

North Ayrshire note that the lack of additional funding means that options are limited are the

protocol wit Housing will have to foster creativity and innovation.

3.3 Being made “Homeless”

The question was: What steps are you taking to implement the recommendation that young

people should not have to be made “homeless” in order to be prioritised for housing

allocation (Recommendation 13)

Local Authority

Do not

have to be

“homeless”

No longer

have to be

“homeless”

Will soon

no longer

have to be

“homeless”

Raised

with

housing

Being

reviewed

Other

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire

3 Angus

4 Argyll and Bute

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar

6 Clackmannanshire

7 Dumfries and

Galloway

8 Dundee



Stock transfer

– HHP

considering

9 East Ayrshire Plan being

developed

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 14 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

Do not

have to be

“homeless”

No longer

have to be

“homeless”

Will soon

no longer

have to be

“homeless”

Raised

with

housing

Being

reviewed

Other

10 East

Dunbartonshire

Existing

mechanism to

prioritise

11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire

13 Edinburgh some

progress

but

further

work

required

14 Falkirk

15 Fife Work is

ongoing to

give priority

without having

to be

“homeless”

16 Glasgow Managed

through

implementation

of SoBP

17 Highland

18 Inverclyde A recognised

anomaly

complicated by

stock transfer

19 Midlothian Care leaver

does not have

to “present at

council housing

office as

homeless”

20 Moray

21 North Ayrshire

22 North Lanarkshire

23 Orkney Islands

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 15 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

Do not

have to be

“homeless”

No longer

have to be

“homeless”

Will soon

no longer

have to be

“homeless”

Raised

with

housing

Being

reviewed

Other

24 Perth and Kinross “Creative

developments”

in the

Homeless

Strategy

25 Renfrewshire a “last

resort”

26 Scottish Borders

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire “we use

homeless

legislation

positively …”

29 South Lanarkshire

30 Stirling

31 West

Dunbartonshire

“positively

discouraged”

32 West Lothian

Total 3 3 3 3 12

3.4 Coming back into care for short periods of support

The question was: What steps are you taking to facilitate young people coming back into care

for short periods of support (recommendation 16)

Local Authority

In

individual

care

plans

Under

consideration

Happens

sometimes

Crisis

accommodation

available/

planned

Difficult

resource

issues

Other

1 Aberdeen City

2 Aberdeenshire

3 Angus

4 Argyll and Bute

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar


6 Clackmannanshire “several

young

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 16 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

In

individual

care

plans

Under

consideration

Happens

sometimes

Crisis

accommodation

available/

planned

Difficult

resource

issues

Other

people”

over the

years – will

continue

7 Dumfries and

Galloway


8 Dundee

9 East Ayrshire

10 East

Dunbartonshire


Because

can stay till

18, there

are

registration

limitations

11 East Lothian

12 East Renfrewshire Try to keep

beds for a

few weeks

13 Edinburgh sofa beds Alison Unit

a good

example

14 Falkirk Less likely

now as

support

available in

Aftercare

service

15 Fife

16 Glasgow

17 Highland

18 Inverclyde

19 Midlothian

20 Moray

21 North Ayrshire

22 North Lanarkshire Move to

locality

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 17 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority

In

individual

care

plans

Under

consideration

Happens

sometimes

Crisis

accommodation

available/

planned

Difficult

resource

issues

Other

based

services

providing

throughcare

– so all

options

open

23 Orkney Islands

24 Perth and Kinross new – for all

25 Renfrewshire

26 Scottish Borders

27 Shetland Islands

28 South Ayrshire Not needed

due to good

planning

and support

29 South Lanarkshire No action

because

“not

feasible”

30 Stirling

31 West

Dunbartonshire


Place held

open for a

time

32 West Lothian Focus on

preventing

the need

Total 2 0 21 5 9

Orkney says it happens often and is encouraged.

4. Gathering Statistics

4.1 Bed & Breakfast

The question was: How many care leavers in the current financial year have been discharged

into bed and breakfast establishments (including those that provide “informal” support)

(Recommendation 14)

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 18 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority Number Comment

1 Aberdeen City 4 All female (2 from residential units and 2 from foster

placements).

2 Aberdeenshire 2

3 Angus 0

4 Argyll and Bute 4 On “Supported Bed and Breakfast” in 2008

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar

0

6 Clackmannanshire 0

7 Dumfries and

Galloway

4 Out of 22 care leavers

8 Dundee 0

9 East Ayrshire 0

10 East

Dunbartonshire

0

11 East Lothian 1

12 East Renfrewshire 2 One was discharged from care into temporary homeless

accommodation and was subsequently offered B&B after

being placed in a hostel for the homeless. A second care

leaver was offered B&B in response to a crisis situation

but was later moved.

13 Edinburgh 2 Short term pending identification and accessing of

suitable accommodation

14 Falkirk 2

15 Fife Information will be available by end of April 2009. No

knowledge of young people being directly moved from

care to bed and breakfast, although aware of at least 9

young care leavers during the year who have regularly

used B&B accommodation

16 Glasgow No figures for current year – would need a survey of case

files. Of the 297 care leavers to end of 2008, some of the

8 “homeless” accommodation (see next question) may

have been to B&B.

17 Highland 2 former

care

leavers

Not discharged into B&B but may move at a later date

due to changes in circumstances. In the 2 cases, the

accommodation was safe and had kitchen facilities.

18 Inverclyde 0

19 Midlothian 4

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 19 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority Number Comment

20 Moray 1 1 young person for one week while awaiting a tenancy to

become available.

21 North Ayrshire 0

22 North Lanarkshire 0 Says – We do not use bed and Breakfast establishments

23 Orkney Islands 0 Housing Services has long recognised that bed and

breakfast accommodation is not appropriate for care

leavers.

24 Perth and Kinross 0

25 Renfrewshire 1 For one night due to a crisis situation in a children’s unit.

26 Scottish Borders 2

27 Shetland Islands 0

28 South Ayrshire 0

29 South Lanarkshire 1

30 Stirling 0 This has been a marked improvement from previous

years and the result of stronger transitional planning.

31 West

Dunbartonshire

0

32 West Lothian 1

Total 33

4.2 Hostels for the homeless

The question was: How many care leavers in the current financial year have been discharged

into hostels for the homeless (Recommendation 15)

Local Authority Number Comment

1 Aberdeen City 0

2 Aberdeenshire 0

3 Angus 0 However, 6 YP have been discharged into homeless

accommodation: 3 YP into a Homeless Unit where they’ve

had their own room as well as access to communal

facilities; 3 YP into non-secure tenancies on a temporary

basis.

4 Argyll and Bute 0 In compliance with our current procedures and practice

that our objective is that no care leaver will be placed in a

bed and breakfast or hostel placement.

5 Comhairle Nan

Eilean Siar

0

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 20 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority Number Comment

6 Clackmannanshire 0

7 Dumfries and

Galloway

8 8 out of 22 (This includes those local resources which are

supported such as Hope Place/ Reston) (Benyellary/

Annabank).

8 Dundee 0

9 East Ayrshire 0

10 East

Dunbartonshire

0

11 East Lothian 1

12 East Renfrewshire 2 Prior to opening the Young People’s Supported Living Unit

in January 2009.

13 Edinburgh 3 Short term, pending the identification and accessing of

suitable accommodation.

14 Falkirk 4 Into a supported accommodation facility specifically for

young people in this area.

15 Fife Information will be available by the end of April 2009s

16 Glasgow 1 Says None – but comment re B&B refers to 8 discharged

to homeless accommodation and 1 to hostel

accommodation.

17 Highland 0

18 Inverclyde 0

19 Midlothian 3

20 Moray 1 As being the safest and most protective local option

available.

21 North Ayrshire 1 This was the choice of the young person and was agreed

as the best option, given the individual circumstances.

22 North Lanarkshire 0 Says – We do not discharge young people from care into

homeless accommodation

23 Orkney Islands 0

24 Perth and Kinross 1 This figure does not include 3 young people who entered

a throughcare residential (Housing Support)

accommodation in a planned and constructive way.

However, in order to access this provision they had to be

designated “homeless”.

25 Renfrewshire 4

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 21 of 22 Version 25/03/2009


Local Authority Number Comment

26 Scottish Borders 0

27 Shetland Islands 0

28 South Ayrshire 0

29 South Lanarkshire 0

30 Stirling 0 We do not use hostels for the homeless.

31 West

Dunbartonshire

0

32 West Lothian 3

Total 32

Sweet 16 LA Survey Analysis p 22 of 22 Version 25/03/2009

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