FUNDING for adult social care, worth £5million, is to be pooled with the aim to extend the service to people aged up to 21.
Lancashire County Council bosses are aiming to provide an adequate service for young people leaving its care aged 18 or over who may fall off a ‘cliff-edge’ when trying to live independently.
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Cabinet member for adult and community services Cllr Tony Martin said ‘value for money’ is a key reason for the change.
He is set to approve a scheme which will pool £1.35m of Supporting People funding with £3.6m for supported accommodation for care leavers in order to provide a more ‘cost-effective approach’ to supporting young people.
Cllr Martin said: “The proposals are designed to ensure that the county council provides value for money support to young people who have been in its care or homeless as they make the step to independent living as adults.”
The authority provides social care for children and adults for Burnley, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Pendle, Rossendale and Chorley.
The proposal aims to ensure ‘services can be accessed by 16 to 21-year-olds to whom the council owes, or has previously owed, a statutory duty under the Children Act 1989.
It also aims to make sure that in exceptional circumstances, where there is capacity, other young people who find themselves homeless between the ages of 18 and 21 can access services on a time limited basis’.
Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Services boss Cllr Maureen Bateson said: “We have very progressive policies to provide children leaving care in our borough with accommodation and to house homeless young people, including ‘The Foyer’.
“However, a combination of government cuts and the varying wishes of young people make organising and budgeting for this process a very complex issue.”
Both councils have a statutory duty to ensure there is sufficient accommodation to meet the needs of children who are preparing to leave care.