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.
Consumer complaints about second-hand cars have topped the complaints "league table" in Scotland for many years. Common problems include mechanical issues, misdescribed cars and history.
Changes to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed yesterday (Thursday 5 September 2019) at the meeting of The Highland Council. Members approved a new Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places that will be in place for the next four years.
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign, the Council has announced two further appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer (ECO). Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure, will take up the post of ECO for Transformation and Economy at the end of the month.
Kings Golf Club Inverness, (formerly known as Torvean Golf Club), has officially opened a new course and clubhouse on the north side of the A82 trunk road, on the outskirts of Inverness, marking the completion of a £12.35M investment as part of the Inverness West Link Road project. The official opening ceremony took place today, Friday 30th August 2019, with special guest Bernard Gallagher, former three times Ryder Cup Captain and the Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael.
The Highland Council is now inviting applications for Community Transport grant funding, to cover the three-year period from April 2020 - March 2023. The Council encourages both current grant recipients and new applicants to submit applications.
During the Caithness Committee on Tuesday 27 August 2019 Members had the opportunity to review progress of the capital programme for the area and scrutinise the amount of money spent to date. The current year's capital investment allocation for projects in the Caithness area is £4,210,000.
Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid. Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.
At this time of year many householders are thinking of their gardens, keeping them tidy or seeing to those jobs that need done before the weather turns. This is also the same time of year for criminals to take advantage of this and prey on the unsuspecting.
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation. Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
In excess of 22,000 customers were assisted by the Council's Welfare Support Team and Citizens Advice during 2018/19 for support with welfare, debt and housing issues. 3,372 customers were helped by the Welfare Support Team and 18,777 clients were assisted by Citizens Advice.
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