Care Leaver Offer Update
This paper provides an update on the Local Offer to City of York council’s care leavers.
Members considered a report which provided an update on the Local Offer to City of York Council care leavers, a paper copy of which was appended to the report. The Council’s Group Manager – Achieving Permanence and Commissioning was joined at the table by a representative of York’s Show Me That I Matter (SMTIM) Panel, who was a care leaver, and who had been involved in the preparation of the document.
They explained how, thorough a process of review and consultation, the council had enhanced its offer to care leavers aged 21 to 25 to ensure that care leavers were supported to be happy and healthy, safe and protected and enabled to transition to independent adult life. This enhanced offer included offering local bus passes to all care leavers up to the age of 21 which, it was noted, was a significant offer which would help promote access to education, work and assist with social interaction and safety. The SMTIM Panel member explained that care lavers had been able to gain work experience through the process and that they had met with the website designer who was working on a draft of how the offer would look online.
Discussion took place around some of the terminology used in the report and members expressed concern about it looking too much like a corporate/legal document. It was acknowledged that some statutory terminology had to be used, but Members asked that consideration be given to possibly softening some of the wording, and adding an explanation of some wording. They made the following suggestions:
· Insert the word “Statutory” in title - Explanation of STATUTORY Care Leaver Status Terms.
· Add “or” between bullet points where this was needed to aid understanding, and check punctuation.
· Improve layout on pages 30 and 31 to make it easier to read
· Add in information about the community Dental Service provided by Harrogate District Foundation Trust.
· Suggest test readability of offer on someone who has not yet left care to ensure it is clear to them.
· Ensure full addresses are used in the Key Contact Section in order that users don’t have to request this.
Officers advised that they were now focusing on 21-25 year care leavers who they hadn’t been working with previously and they had proactively contacted them to explain to them about the offer.
Officers advised that the new Director of Children, Education and Communities due to start in the new year had seen a copy of the local offer and was very happy with it, and although guidance stated that the offer should be reviewed within 2-3 years, she had expressed a desire to review it in 12 months time.
Resolved: (i) That the report and information contained in the Local Offer be noted and that Members suggestions be taken into account in finalising the offer.
(ii) That an update on the Care Leaver Offer be provided to the Board in around 12 months time.
Reason: In order that Members are kept updated on the council’s offer to Care Leavers.