Councillors Endorse Disability Services Exercise
17th November 2023
Members of The Highland Council's Health, Social Care and Wellbeing have endorsed a scoping exercise currently being carried out on services available for children with disability in Highland.
Included within the exercise is the consideration of Self-Directed Support and residential and respite provision which provides short break accommodation for children and young people with complex health and disability needs.
Chair of Health, Social Care and Well Being Committee, Cllr David Fraser said: "The ongoing work of this scoping exercise with NHS Highland, the Third Sector and families reflects the Council’s ‘Our Future Highland’ Programme which is ‘working together to improve quality of life and opportunities for Highland people’."
He added: “I would like to thank all the many teams, staff and partners who are working together to support families to stay together and thrive in their local communities.”
A key requirement of the exercise is engagement with NHS Highland on the transitions and education for young people with a disability who may not be known to the Children’s Disability Service in Highland, as well as with Third Sector partners.
The outcomes of the exercise will inform the Council what is required to ensure an improved strategic overview, planning and collaboration for children, families, and carers within disability services.
A report to councillors highlighted that engagement with education is key in terms of transitions so that all children and young people who are affected by a disability - and are likely to be eligible for an adult care service - are identified at an early stage.
Councillors were informed that scoping work has commenced in Caithness and Sutherland with Third Sector partners and parent representation to map current disability services provision. Early feedback from this exercise has shown that “building more supportive fun and recreational activities was a priority for 35% of parents”.
The Council and NHS Highland are working hard to get respite provision back in place that is currently being ‘blocked’ due to long term stays of children with complex disability needs.
Members were informed that regarding the transition to adult services - the Council has been engaging with NHS Highland and a ‘pathway’ has been agreed setting out timescales of future planning for children and young people who will be eligible for adult care services.
Following completion of the scoping exercise, the Council will be more informed as to what next steps are required to ensure that there is strategic overview, planning and collaboration for children, families, and carers within disability services.
Highland Council continues to explore external funding opportunities to help families in the region who experience disproportionately higher levels of fuel poverty than the rest of Scotland. External funding is targeted at households classed as fuel and extreme fuel poor and is available Highland-wide.
The Highland Council is inviting applications from groups and organisations to the ‘Communities and Place' strand of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). £1 million of funding is available for capital and revenue projects, that will empower communities to build on their own strengths, support local needs, and deliver on the fund's main objective of ‘building pride in place and increasing life chances'.
A strategy which proposes a two-stage approach towards the development of vibrant community hubs in partnership with High Life Highland and sportscotland was agreed at the Council's Education Committee. The report set out the principles for investment over the long-term and the next steps to develop individual plans for each of the Council's 29 associated school group (ASG) areas.
The Highland Council are inviting all tenants to have their say on the rent levels for the year ahead. We encourage everyone that lives in a council house to take this chance to have their say, the results of this will have a direct impact on the services we are able to deliver next year and in the future.
Suppliers working in the wedding market are being invited by Highland Registrars to a newly established Wedding Fair. The Highland Wedding Fair will take place on Sunday 4 February 2024 with public access from 11.00am - 3.00pm (suppliers will have access from 8:30am).
The Highland Council has announced the timetable to make a final attempt to reform the 30 Community Council elections that failed to form in September 2023. Community Councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities.
For the first time, The Highland Council's Employability Service is offering Paid Third Sector Placements to unemployed Highland residents. Funded by the Scottish Government through the No One Left Behind policy, this initiative proposes 6-month paid work experience placements hosted by charities and non-for-profit organisations.
Highland Council's Playpark Strategy and Action Plan for 2023-2033 was agreed and adopted by members of the Communities and Place Committee on 29 November 2023. Resource - The service has limited revenue budget for maintenance of £176,900 for all sites.
It was announced on Friday 1 December 2023 that Workhaus Projects has been awarded the contract to carry out the interpretation for the interior of the Inverness Castle Experience. Workhaus Projects will combine creativity, design, technology and craftsmanship to create a world-class visitor experience within the transformed castle building, bringing the vision of content designers Mather & Co to fruition.
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth has announced £900,000 in new funding for staff to tackle poor behaviour and attendance in schools. The funding will be provided directly to local authorities to train support staff to respond to new challenges and develop behaviour management strategies in schools post COVID.