City of York Council’s Executive will be asked to consider plans to transform York’s existing residential care provision for children and young people in care at a meeting next week.
“The proposals would enable the council to better meet the needs of children and young people aged 9-18 years of age in York who need a period of residential support, allowing them to remain near their families and local communities while receiving specialist care”.
The Executive will be asked to approve plans to buy three new two/three bedroom buildings to provide specialist nurturing environments for children and young people in small groups of similar age.
The council’s current home would be remodelled under the proposals to provide supported accommodation for young people aged 16-18 years of age, providing a transition to independent living.
Under the plans, specialist foster carers would help support children and young people when they leave the residential accommodation, helping them to make the move back to a family environment with foster carers or to independent living, depending on their age.
The new buildings would be operated in partnership with external providers specialising in providing evidence-based therapeutic support to children and young with complex needs.
The Executive will be asked to approve plans for the council to borrow £1.36m to purchase the new buildings, with the payments being met through the existing revenue budgets of the Children, Education and Communities Directorate
The plan will be discussed at a meeting taking place on 18th July
The demolition contractors for the Windsor House/Lincoln Court/Hob Moor school developments have taken over the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) on Kingsway West.
It in no longer accessible for local children.
Councillors have reportedly agreed to it being used as a building compound.
Sections of the fencing around the area have been removed to allow access to a new service road. The entrance used by children has been secured.
While the loss of the play area is not unexpected following a controversial planning decision a few months ago, the failure of the Council to provide updates on when a replacement facility will be provided (and where) is very disappointing. The location favoured by Sports Clubs and local residents, is on the Thanet Road All Weather Sports area near the junction of Gale Lane and Thanet Road.
At one point the Council promised funding for a new facility but all has gone quiet since the LibDems took control of the Council at the beginning of May.
The loss of the sports facility comes in the wake of similar erosion of facilities in the Westfield area with the Lowfields playing field now being developed as is the Acomb Bowling Club.
The Our Lady’s school field was developed about 3 years ago.
Support for the provision of more public open space – possibly in the form of new strays – on the outskirts of the City is growing.
City of York Council is urging local residents to help change a child’s life in 2019 by fostering.
With around 150 children and young people being supported by foster carers in York at any time, the authority is always looking for new foster carers to join the team.
Fostering involves looking after children in a safe and secure environment when they can’t live with their own families.
And as James Lee, from the council’s Fostering Team, explains, they’re not looking for just one type of carer:
“The children and young people who need our care are from a wide range of backgrounds and have very differing needs, so we need foster carers with different experiences and skills to help them. Many people consider fostering when their own children have left home and they have a bit more time and space, while others foster young people alongside their own children. If you have experience of living or working with children and young people, either in a work setting or at home, and think you might be able to help then please do get in touch.”
Primary school admission figures for entry in September 2019 reveal that 95.9% per cent of York children have been given their first preference of school.
City of York Council’s figures published today (16 April 2019) show that 99.1% per cent of pupils got one of their first three preferences.
The percentage of online applications for primary school places has continued to increase, with 99% of parents and carers applying for their child’s school place online.
Parents who applied online will be notified of their child’s place by email at 10am today, letters are being posted today to parents and those with online accounts can log in to the council’s parent portal at www.york.gov.uk/parentportal.
In 2019 all children within the local authority area have secured a primary school place. The majority of children got one of their first three preferences; with the number of children whose preferences were not able to be met reducing from 11 in 2018 to 10 in 2019.
This year’s admissions figures, compared with last year’s are outlined below:
The total size of the cohort starting school in September 2019 is 1,836 pupils, compared to 1,933 last year.
It looks like there are more problems ahead, as the York Council tries to let contracts to establish a new “Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children” (CEDC) and a major expansion of the Lincoln Court independent living building.
A year ago, the Council said that it would need to invest £4.3 million in the CEDC. They later revised their budgets and agreed to borrow an additional £330,000 to fund the centre.
A £4.7 million contract was awardedin February to Sewell’s. It was said to cover work at both Windsor House and Lincoln Court.
Now papers released
yesterday suggest that there may be a significant increase in the costs for the
project. Officials are expected to make a case for extra investment at a meeting
taking place on 18th June. A note in the
Councils Forward Programme says, “A
value engineered exercise has been undertaken and further funds are required to
ensure there is an adequate contingency. This needs to be done within this
timeframe in order to meet the requirements of external health funding”.
The meeting will take place after the local elections in May
so it is anyone’s guess what will now happen to the project.
A cost drift has also occurred on the Lincoln Court side of the project. Earlier this month officials admittedthat the cost had soared from £1.9 million to £4.8 million.
The Lincoln Court project is still mired in controversy. The planning approval is being referred to the Secretary of State for consideration for calling in. The move stems from objections from local sports organisations and residents who want to see the existing all-weather play area moved to Thanet Road. The play area would be lost under the Council’s current proposals.
There are also concerns about access arrangements for the buildings both during building works and afterwards. A case has been made for a private (pedestrian) access to be made available to the adjacent school car park. So far, the Council has turned a blind eye to the suggestion, reinforcing concerns about traffic congestion and parking problems on Ascot Way
Both the CEDC and Lincoln
Court modernisation have attracted widespread local support. It is a change
that lack of attention to detail and poor consultation arrangements seem to be hindering
Young people in York who have left care and those preparing to leave care can now find out what help and support they’re eligible for at a glance thanks to the launch of a new ‘Local Offer for care leavers’.
City of York Council has launched the online document to make it easier for young people to access the help they’re entitled to, including a range of support with accommodation, education, training and employment, developing life skills, health, mental health, and relationships.
The local offer highlights the City of York’s aspirations for care leavers and following changes nationally, care leavers can now access support until they are 25 years of age, compared to 21 previously.
The Local Offer for Care Leavers was written and designed in partnership with members of York’s care leavers’ forum; ‘I Still Matter’.
Young care leavers from the group, said: “‘We think the Local Offer for Care Leavers is really important because it ensures that care leavers are aware of their rights and entitlements, and gives them the relevant information to be able to create their own futures, whilst knowing where to go for support and advice”.
For more information about the support available visit www.york.gov.uk/LeavingCare or email email@example.com or call 01904 555389