New support service for children and young people at risk of going into care
At its next meeting (24 July), the county council’s cabinet will be asked to approve plans for a new Positive Behaviour Support Service for children and young people with a learning disability and/or autism, who are at risk of going into care.
The Positive Behaviour Support Service is an intensive programme of support designed to help children and young people who are demonstrating challenging behaviour, to stay at home with their families.
The service uses a set of tools and technologies to assess, support and understand behaviour, and its person-centred approach makes sure that any action taken is based on the unique needs of each individual child or young person.
The system has been used successfully in other parts of the UK and has been found to decrease the frequency and severity of challenging behaviour, improving the quality of life for young people and their families and reducing the need for residential care.
If plans are approved, the council will go out to tender for an experienced Positive Behaviour Support provider, using a social impact bond. A social impact bond (SIB) is a contract funded by socially-motivated investors. The initial investments cover the start up costs and the delivery of the service, and the county council only starts to make payments back to investors when certain outcomes have been delivered, for example, children are kept out of residential care.
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “There are young people in our county with a learning disability and/or autism who are living in residential schools, and whose needs could be met within the community if there was a Positive Behaviour Support in place, allowing them to remain at home with their families.
“There is strong evidence that the model works, and by reducing episodes of challenging behaviour, it’s clear to me that it would bring significant, positive benefits to children and their families.”