Highland Placement Programme improves children's lives immeasurably
22nd August 2019
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland. Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.
The 34 children returned to area or family placements went to the following:
Residential units: 13
Supported flats: 8
Foster care: 3
Adult services: 3
Out of care system: 1
Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: "The ethos driving the Placement Programme is to provide alternative services which enable young people to remain as close to their communities in Highland as possible.
"One of the most compelling outcomes of the Placement Programme is significantly improved outcomes for Highland's Care Experienced Young People who have returned to area. There has been overwhelming feedback from Social Workers, parents and the young people themselves about how well our young people are doing."
These improved outcomes have included:
Within a short time of returning, a number of young people have been found to be intellectually more able than identified over several years out of area,
Returned young people accelerating their developmental age as compared with OOA,
Reduction in one young person's violence and aggression forms by 80%,
Change for one young person who experienced limited opportunities out with the Highlands, who is now thriving and participating in many community activities in Highlands that he has never experienced before. Some of these activities are what most children would get the opportunity to experience.
Improved educational attendance and enjoyment, “I want to live here until I’m older then I want to work here".
Developing Highland resources to support the Placement Programme rollout is ongoing and includes the new outreach and respite service in Fodderty, the identification and development of additional residential provision, the employment of new and specialised staff and agreement on the expansion of CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service).
Looking ahead and in order to meet the responsibilities detailed in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, effort is being focussed on acquiring a more varied stock of properties and services to meet the needs of looked after young people in the Highland area. A business case is also being prepared to review fostering and adoption fees/allowances which will be detailed in a report to The Highland Council meeting in October 2019.
Over £2.3 million pounds of investment is set to benefit town centres across the Highlands with 30 transformational projects about to get underway to stimulate economic investment and to help towns diversify and flourish. The Town Centre capital grant fund from the Scottish Government is targeted to encourage town and city centres to diversify and flourish, giving new purpose and creating footfall.
Transport group chair calls for immediate research on viability of publicly operated Highland bus services. SNP Ness-side councillor Ron MacWilliam has written to members of the Highland Council Redesign board to urge them to consider options for publicly run bus services in the Highlands.
Highland Council's Placement Services Change Programme (PSCP) is helping make a real difference for the region’s most vulnerable young people. The Placements Team in Children’s Services has developed a creative, courageous and dedicated programme to work with multi-disciplinary professionals to identify children out with Highland whose needs can be met back in the local area.
Following the close of the Community Council Nominations on Tuesday, 29 October 2019, 20 community councils received more nominations than their maximum membership. After the withdrawal period where candidates had the opportunity to withdraw their nomination, The Highland Council has confirmed that 16 Community Councils will be contested.
BT are proposing to remove 110 payphones across The Highland Council area. Under Ofcom guidelines, the Local Authorities are responsible for co-ordinating consultation responses on behalf of their local community for any proposed removal of public payphones.
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (October, 31st) sold 3,675 store sheep. Lambs (2,603) averaged £48.91 and sold to £85 gross for a Texel tup lamb from Wester Raddery, Fortrose. Ewes (890) sold to £79 gross for a pen of Texel crosses from Kinnahaird Farm, Contin. Feeding Sheep (182) sold to £170 gross for a Cheviot ram from Keppoch Farm, Dundonnell.
Feedback from Highland Council's annual citizen's panel survey has highlighted the welcoming nature of people living in our communities. This was just one of many findings included in the latest Citizens' Panel 2019 Performance and Attitude Survey which was considered at the Council meeting on 31 October 2019.
Following the recent call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward a total of 120 Councils attracted sufficient interest to allow them to form from 12 noon on Friday 1 November. 20 Community Councils received more nominations than their maximum membership, and elections will take place for these Community Councils using a postal ballot.
Highland Council saves £400,000 And 377 Tonnes Of CO2 In First 12 Months With Enterprise. The Highland Council has reduced its annual business mileage by more than 825,000 miles and made cost savings in excess of £400,000 in the first 12 months since introducing Enterprise Car Club, part of global vehicle rental group, Enterprise Holdings.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 requires social landlords to consult tenants and take account of their views when making decisions about proposed rent increases. The Highland Council Tenant Participation team are starting a month long trip around Highland communities talking to tenants about what their rent money is spent on and consulting on the rent they will pay in 2020 / 2021.
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