Community Planning in Aberdeen
SOAPerformance  >  National Outcome 8

National Outcome 8

 Performance Indicator (PI) Status  Long Term Trends  Short Term Trends

 Alert Alert
Warning Warning
OK OK
Unknown Unknown
Data Only Data Only

Long-Term Improving Improving
Long-Term No Change No Change
Long-Term Getting Worse Getting Worse

 

Short-Term Improving Improving
Short-Term No Change No Change
Short-Term Getting Worse Getting Worse

 

NO08 – We have improved the life chances of children and young people and families at risk

 

The quality of the delivery of social work services to children, young people and families at risk was highlighted in both the SWIA and HMIe inspection reports in 2007 and 2008. This included comments regarding the life chances of vulnerable children, and the inspection agencies views that Aberdeen City Council was not able to evidence good decision-making processes and practice that would indicate how life chances for these children had improved.  Action was taken to address the main issues highlighted in these reports, which included the assessment of risk and need of vulnerable children, and the subsequent follow-through reports reflect the progress that has been made.  This has centered around the delivery of service moving from an area based model to a service based model, the Social Care & Wellbeing Directorate, under the leadership of a single Director.  Alongside this, practice improvement and quality assurance processes have been implemented and monitored, and a review of services was undertaken.  This review resulted in a re-design of social work services to children, due to be implemented in the last quarter of 2009.  The re-design streamlines service delivery for the service user, and increases accessibility to services.

 

The numbers of looked after children in Aberdeen City continue to increase.  This is partly due to the impact of public reports, such as that of Baby P, which increase public awareness and reporting of child protection issues, resulting in more children becoming looked after. The increase in substance misuse, alcohol and drugs, is impacting on the quality of care some parents are able to provide, resulting in an increasing number of children and young people being accommodated as a result.  The numbers of young people being looked after at home or by friends and relatives is increasing, as we continue to try to prevent children from being accommodated unless this is necessary to their ongoing safety.  We are required to implement a Kinship Care service by 2010 for children looked after by relatives, to more appropriately support kinship arrangements as a placement of choice in the longer term for children and young people, as a more positive alternative to public care.  There are challenges associated with this as a result of the financial pressures associated with developing a new service. We are beginning to move young people out of residential care more quickly by introducing a rigorous review system, which looks at all placements in depth, and considers alternative ways in which the young person’s needs can be met, however much of the impact of this work is offset by the increase in the numbers of young people being accommodated, often as a result of a decision made by the Children’s Hearing system.  We are in the process of setting up clear decision-making processes to support the implementation of the single Social Care & Wellbeing service.  These processes will tightly monitor and evaluate the numbers of residential and foster placements for young people in Aberdeen.

 

The implementation of the service re-design for children’s social work services will include a multi-agency pre-referral screening process, where the main agencies will meet regularly to discuss all the referrals received, and make decisions regarding allocation of community-based resources.  This process will enable children and young people to receive the most appropriate service quickly.  The service re-design includes a dedicated city-wide reception service, which will increase consistency of service allocation, delivery and decision-making.  The introduction of clear processes and standards, including timescales will set timescales for appropriate assessments to be completed, and decisions to be made about the plans for children.

 

Social work services to children and young people are being improved.  The re-design of services has been based on developing delivery systems and processes, which will support the improvement of outcomes for vulnerable children and young people, particularly those at risk.

 

 

LO8A Young People and Families at risk are supported to stay together


Measure

Performance

Note

% of vulnerable children looked after at home

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

51.7%

-

Baseline year

Baseline year

2007/08

54.4%

51.8%

OK

Short-Term Improving

2008/09

54.0%

54.5%

OK

Short-Term Getting Worse

Note this is a slightly changed indicator which now reflects the % balance of care rather than pure numbers. The target is to increase those cared for at home and with foster carers whilst reducing those cared for in residential establishments. There has been a marked and positive shift away from those looked after in residential establishments.

 

 

Measure

Performance

Note

% of vulnerable children looked after in foster care

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

32.3%

-

Baseline year

Baseline year

2007/08

31.2%

32.4%

Warning

Short-Term Getting Worse

2008/09

35.3%

31.3%

OK

Short-Term Improving

Note this is a slightly changed indicator which now reflects the % balance of care rather than pure numbers. The target is to increase those cared for at home and with foster carers whilst reducing those cared for in residential establishments. There has been a marked and positive shift away from those looked after in residential establishments.

 

 

Measure

Performance

Note

% of vulnerable children looked after in residential care

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

16.0%

-

Baseline year

Baseline year

2007/08

14.4%

15.9%

OK

Short-Term Improving

2008/09

10.7%

14.3%

OK

Short-Term Improving

Note this is a slightly changed indicator which now reflects the % balance of care rather than pure numbers. The target is to increase those cared for at home and with foster carers whilst reducing those cared for in residential establishments. There has been a marked and positive shift away from those looked after in residential establishments.

 

 

Measure

Performance

Note

Families supported through Aberdeen Families Project which result in complete cessation or significant reduction in antisocial behaviour

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

 

 

 

 

2007/08

80%

80%

OK

Baseline year

2008/09

80%

80%

OK

Short-Term No Change

The target has been achieved. With the particularly challenging client group (ie families involved in long term serious antisocial behaviour) it is unrealistic to expect 100% success. Success means that antisocial behaviour has stopped and a wide range of other issues/root causes of the behaviour have been tackled - from household budgeting, to school attendance, parenting skills and substance misuse. Families are able to maintain and sustain tenancies in the community, and are no longer disrupting the lives and safety of neighbours and others.



LO8B Improve the life chances of Looked After Children

 

Measure

Performance

Note

Percentage of Looked After Children attaining at least 1 SCQF Level 3

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

48.6%

48.6%

OK

Baseline year

2007/08

71.2%

58.7%

OK

Short-Term Improving

2008/09

82.5%

69.1%

OK

Short-Term Improving

A programme of work has been underway during 2008-09 to ensure all primary, secondary and special schools in the City have a Designated Senior Manager for Looked After Children. An audit of information across CareFirst and Phoenix provided accurate baselines. A consultation was undertaken with looked after children and a DVD to highlight the local challenges for looked after children will be launch alongside training for Elected members and Chief Officer in Dec 09.  A programme of training based on the ‘We Can and Must do Better for Looked After Children’ materials is underway and being evaluated 3.4 out of 4 (4 being excellent). The improved performance across Looked After Children targets reported in SPI data is promising and we await the November 2009 publication of the attainment data to see if the trend is being sustained.

 

Measure

Performance

Note

Percentage of Looked After Children attaining at least SCQF Level 3 English & Maths

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

20%

20.1%

OK

Baseline year

2007/08

40.7%

52.1%

Warning

Short-Term Improving

2008/09

55.6%

61.3%

Warning

Short-Term Improving

A programme of work has been underway during 2008-09 to ensure all primary, secondary and special schools in the City have a Designated Senior Manager for Looked After Children. An audit of information across CareFirst and Phoenix provided accurate baselines. A consultation was undertaken with looked after children and a DVD to highlight the local challenges for looked after children will be launch alongside training for Elected members and Chief Officer in Dec 09.  A programme of training based on the ‘We Can and Must do Better for Looked After Children’ materials is underway and being evaluated 3.4 out of 4 (4 being excellent). The improved performance across Looked After Children targets reported in SPI data is promising and we await the November 2009 publication of the attainment data to see if the trend is being sustained.

 

Measure

Performance

Note

% of young people (15 – 19) leaving care Not in Education, Employment or Training

08/09 Report

 

Value

Target

Status

Short Trend

2006/07

82%

82%

OK

Baseline year

2007/08

 

77%

 

 

2008/09

 

72%

 

 

This data is not systematically available locally or nationally.  The 2006/07 data was taken from a local report undertaken when the partnership was being reviewed in 2007/08. 

 

The 16+ Learning Choices Programme will provide robust an accurate data on the numbers of looked after children within the More Choices More Chances (MCMC) cohort and will include their destinations post school.  The MCMC Partnership are also currently negotiating the detail of an Information Sharing Protocol between the Council, Skills Development Scotland (SDS).  Colleges have signed off a national protocol with SDS. 

 

The joint programme of work with Designated Senior Managers in schools and the targeted approach with Looked After Children as part of the More Choices More Chances 16+ roll out across all schools is expected to improve performance in this area during 2010-11.