Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young PeopleSocial work services for disabled children and young people and their families Assessment and eligibility
Research objectives• Establish current practices in local authorities across Scotland in terms of eligibility criteria and assessment tools.• Discover if there has been any change to criteria and tools.• Explore how variations in practice or changing criteria might affect services and access to them.• Establish whether the level of accessibility and availability of services match the legislative and policy commitments in Scotland.
What did we do?• Phase 1 – FOI request made by the Commissioner to all 32 local authorities.• Phase 2 – Survey of all local authorities - social work services • 23 responded. – Discussion groups with social work professionals in two case study areas. – One interview with a social work professional – Interview with two Scottish Government representatives.
Current practice• Service users• Budget, caseloads & staffing• Monitoring• Services provided• Charging• Assessment tools• Eligibility criteria
Current practice: who are theservices for?• 2 said their local authority does not cover hearing impairments and 1 does not cover mental health problems.• Differences in approach to autistic spectrum disorder.• Definition of disability still an issue? – Impacts on eligibility.
Current practice: budget,caseloads & staffing• Seems to have been less affected by cuts than other areas: – Only one local authority reported their budget being smaller than it was five years ago. – About half said the budget had increased and half staying about the same. – But concerns about both the impact on families & the future.• But, most local authorities (16) have experienced a rise in caseload in the last five years. – And, of those, only 6 reported a rise in staffing levels and only 8 a rise in budget.
Current practice: performancemonitoring• Most authorities (19) reported problems with waiting times, but: – 10 did not have a target for how quickly an assessment will be done – 16 did not have a target for how quickly services will be put in place• And: – 9 do not monitor waiting times – Only 4 monitor waiting times up to the point of provision.
Current practice: services provided Meals Telephone equipmentEquipment for recreational need Home help Travel Befriending Leisure facilities/schemesSibling & carer support groups Play schemes Support to parents Access to suitable housing Occupational therapy Practical assistance Equipment & adaptations Short break respite Residential respite Day care 0 5 10 15 20
Current practice: charging Practical assistance Equipment for recreational Leisure facilities/schemes Travel Equipment & adaptations Short break respite Residential respite Meals Telephone equipment Befriending Play schemes Home help Day care Support to parents Access to suitable housing Occupational therapySibling & carer support groups 0 3 7 10 13 16 20 23 Always provide free Contribution sometimes Contribution always
Current practice: assessment• Process – While most publish key information about assessment: • only about 2/3s publish information about the factors taken into account when deciding whether to provide services, and • only one local authority reported publishing information specifically for children. – Assessment process is usually, but not always, explained to children and young people and their families. – Most provide the opportunity for children and young people to participate directly in their assessment.
Current practice: assessment• The tools used – 22 have tools in place for assessing children but only 12 specifically for disabled children and young people. – Differences in how far a multi-agency approach to assessment has been adopted • 6 local authorities reported not yet using a multi-agency assessment tool • Content of the tools differs - some more detailed than others; some more GIRFEC based than others.• Still an issue around multiple assessments and duplication.
Current practice: eligibilitycriteria • Why use them? • When are they used? • What do they look like? • Complexities – Differences in definitions – Differences in when used
How have things changed?• Eligibility• Assessment• Charging• Referrals• Services
Impact of variation• Variation does lead to differences in, for example: – the experience of assessment process – types of services received – the amount of money paid• But, difficult to conclude if one area is meeting need better than any other.
Meeting commitments?• Some specific gaps in specific authorities, e.g – Planning & monitoring – Publishing information – Involving children & young people• But, difficult to conclude overall.
Meeting commitments?2320161310 73 0 All Most vulnerable Always Most of the time Some of the time
Stefan Stoyanov Policy OfficerEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 558 3733