Changes to externally commissioned early help services for young people

Closes 3 May 2017

Opened 8 Mar 2017

Overview

Surrey County Council is working to change and improve the way early help is offered to children, young people and families who need some extra support. We are organising our services so they work together better with one another and with services offered by our partners. This will help us to give the right support to the whole family at the right time. By doing this, we will make a lasting difference to those families who face the most challenges, whilst also getting the best value for money for residents.

We need to deliver this change at a time when the Council is facing bigger budget pressures than ever before, as less money is coming to Surrey from central government and a growing number of our most vulnerable residents need our support. The level of challenge we face means that we have to make difficult decisions about which services we continue to fund and which we need to stop or reduce, to secure the Council’s financial position for the future.

Why We Are Consulting

Surrey currently spends £1.5 million each year on a range of different services that provide early help and support to young people aged 11-18. We fund a number of different organisations to provide these services on our behalf. Unfortunately, we do not have enough money to pay for all these services in the future.  In fact, we need to save £250,000 from our budget between April 2017 and March 2018 and a further £200,000 in the year after that.  We are therefore running a public consultation to help us make the best decision about which changes we should make and be transparent in our approach.

In particular we want to:

  • hear your views about our proposals;
  • understand how the changes might affect you; and
  • identify any ideas you have to help us manage the change.

Which services may be affected?

Three services may be affected by this consultation: Neighbourhood Local Prevention; 1-to-1 Local Prevention; and Year 11/12 Transition.

 

Neighbourhood Local Prevention

We currently allocate a total of £448,000 in grants each year to a number of different local charities who deliver a range of projects that work with young people in particular higher need communities in Surrey, where local people have told us there is need for extra support. Funding for projects is shared between Surrey’s 11 boroughs and districts in response to the level of support that is needed. Typical activities provided to young people include: youth work delivered in local communities; mobile bus projects; and targeted group work projects delivered to particular young people. The service provided support to over 2,000 young people in 2015-16.

Organisations who currently deliver projects on our behalf in Surrey’s 11 boroughs and districts are set out in the following table:

Borough or district

Provider/s

Elmbridge

The Eikon Charity

The Lifetrain Trust

Epsom and Ewell

The Beat Project

Guildford

The Lifetrain Trust

Mole Valley

The Leatherhead Youth Project

YMCA East Surrey

Reigate and Banstead

YMCA East Surrey

Runnymede

The Eikon Charity

Spelthorne

The Lifetrain Trust

Surrey Heath

The Eikon Charity

Tandridge

YMCA East Surrey

Woking

The Eikon Charity

Waverley

The Eikon Charity

 

1-to-1 Local Prevention

We currently have 11 contracts with local charities, one in each of Surrey’s boroughs and districts, to provide 1-to-1 support to individual young people.  Young people using the service have been specifically put in contact with their local provider, to offer support in response to particular issues or challenges that the young person is facing. Many will have been directly referred to the service through Surrey’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This service costs a total of £700,000 each year, with funding shared between boroughs and districts to reflect the level of support that is needed. Typical activities include: mentoring; 1-to-1 youth work; talent coaching; or counselling. It provides 1,600 hours a month of direct, face-to-face 1-to-1 support to young people across Surrey.

Organisations who currently provide 1-to-1 support on our behalf in Surrey’s 11 boroughs and districts are set out in the following table:

Borough or district

Provider/s

Elmbridge

Surrey Care Trust

Epsom and Ewell

YMCA East Surrey

Guildford

Step by Step

Mole Valley

The Leatherhead Youth Project

Reigate and Banstead

Learning Space

Runnymede

The Eikon Charity

Spelthorne

The Lifetrain Trust

Surrey Heath

The Eikon Charity

Tandridge

Learning Space

Woking

Surrey Care Trust

Waverley

Step by Step

 

Year 11/12 Transition

This service is currently provided across the county by the specialist information, advice and guidance provider, U-Explore. This offers targeted 1-to-1 support to young people who have been identified with local secondary schools as needing extra help with moving from Year 11 (the last year of secondary school) into education, training or employment from Year 12. Young people are worked with from the spring term of Year 11, during the summer term, over the holidays and during their first months of education, training or employment after leaving school. The success of service is judged on the number of young people that are participating in education, training or employment in the January after they left school. The service costs £395,000 each year and worked with over 450 young people in 2015/16, achieving a success rate of more than 90%.

What options are available?

Whilst all the early help services above have been performing well and making a difference to young people in Surrey, we do not have enough money to fund all the current services without making changes. We have set out five possible options below which respond to this that we are seeking views on.  Based on our assessment, option 1 is the choice that saves the money we need to, whilst also havng the least detrimental effect on the most vulnerable young people in Surrey. This is therefore identified as the Council’s current preferred option.

  • Option 1 – Cease funding for Neighbourhood Local Prevention at the end of the second year of the three-year programme on 31 August 2017, leading to the reduction or loss of some community-based services for young people, but no reductions to other services (preferred).
  • Option 2 - Reduce funding to 1-to-1 Local Prevention by 64% across all districts and boroughs (£450,000) for year three of the commission from 1 September 2017, leading the reduction or loss of some 1-to-1 support services for young people.
  • Option 3 – Bring to an end the Year 11/12 Transition service at the end of December 2017, leading to the loss of 1-to-1 transition services to support young people. Alongside this, there is a need to reduce funding for Neighbourhood Local Prevention grants and 1-to-1 Local Prevention contracts by 23% for the year beginning 1 September 2017. This approach realises the required saving of £250,000 in 2017/18, but in so doing reduces funding for early help services in 2018/19 by over £400,000, double the required level of £200,000.
  • Option 4 – Share funding reduction across both 1-to-1 and Neighbourhood Local Prevention (a 39% funding reduction to both services) from 1 September 2017 and run both services until August 2018, leading to the reduction or loss of some 1-to-1 and community-based services for young people.
  • Option 5 – Maintain funding for all grants and contracts at current levels, leading to an overspend of the identified available budget.

Why do we think option 1 the preferred option?

We feel option 1 is the choice that has the least degree of detrimental impact on the most vulnerable young people and on the Council’s approach to transforming early help in Surrey. It also saves the money that is needed without affecting other services. Some of the other key reasons for why we think this is the preferred option are:

  • Neighbourhood Local Prevention projects work with fewer young people from the most vulnerable groups when compared to 1-to-1 Local Prevention and Year 11/12 Transition. Young people are directly referred to these other services, so they are better targeted. Some of the vulnerable groups we have looked at include those who: have been involved with Children’s Services; have learning difficulties or disabilities; have been involved in offending or anti-social behaviour; or are at risk of dropping out of education.
  • Both 1-to-1 Local Prevention and Year 11/12 Transition support young people who come to the attention of Surrey’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). The MASH is responsible for ensuring young people who may be at risk are referred to someone who can help and support them, so we need to provide services that are able to accept these referrals. Surrey County Council has also been specifically asked to improve in this area by Ofsted, who help us to keep children and young people safe, so it is really important we continue to improve.
  • Our review of the different services has shown that, although all services help young people, being supported 1-to-1 Local Prevention and Year 11/12 Transition is more likely to make a lasting difference to young people than Neighbourhood Local Prevention.
  • One of the Council’s overall priorities is “creating opportunities for young people”. Of all the services we have mentioned, Year 11/12 Transition has the most direct impact on this by supporting young people to access education or employment when they leave school.
  • If we bring to an end Neighbourhood Local Prevention as suggested in option 1, we will not have to make savings from the other services and these can be continued in full. Options 2, 3 and 4 are likely to lead to either a number of the services being put at risk, so we do not have enough capacity for early help to meet our key challenges, or a greater cut to funding for early help services over time than originally planned.
  • Option 5 does not allow Surrey County Council to set a balanced budget, which is something that we are legally required to do.

Give Us Your Views

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Young people
  • Children in care
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Youth workers
  • Health professionals working with children
  • Councillors, MPs
  • Children with disabilities
  • CSF staff
  • Carers
  • Headteachers
  • Health providers
  • Clinical commissioning groups
  • Children's Centres
  • Employers
  • Care Leavers
  • SCC staff
  • District and borough council staff
  • Voluntary, community and faith sector organisations

Interests

  • Schools
  • 6-11 year olds
  • 12-19 year olds
  • Commissioning
  • Looked After Children and Care Leavers
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Disabilities
  • Parents and families
  • Staff
  • Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • Safeguarding children
  • Organisations that receive grant funding
  • Health and wellbeing
  • SCC staff