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Continued support for Cambridgeshire young people in care

10 October 2023

A retendering process for a contract to continue providing supported accommodation and support services for young people in care in Cambridgeshire has been approved.

Cambridgeshire County Council are extremely supportive of the new Ofsted regulations that are being implemented for this sector and are retendering the service to ensure the authority is compliant.

The Supported Accommodation Services contract, which covers the next five years, will be for young people in care aged 16 and 17.

Supported accommodation provides support depending on the needs of the young people – flexible and mutually agreed, and working in partnership with other agencies.

The aim of the service is to enable young people to become more independent whilst living in the supported accommodation by developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required to sustain independent living and make a smooth and successful transition to adulthood.

The service builds resilience and strengthens young people’s skills, enabling them to live in the community whilst ensuring they are fully involved in the planning and delivery of their own care plans.

All providers offering homes to these young people of Cambridgeshire will be required to register with Ofsted.

Cambridgeshire has made 288 placements between January 2019 to December 2022. On average the service works with 72 young people per year, with the average time a young person spends living in the service being 130 days per placement.

The current Supported Accommodation contract started in October 2018, for an initial period of three years with an option to extend for three further periods of two years and then one year, making ten years in total.

This current framework has successfully increased the sufficiency of provision for Cambridgeshire, but requires recommissioning to ensure that contractual arrangements comply with new regulations.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee therefore agreed today (October 10) to retender the process, allowing details to be reviewed and developed to reflect new Ofsted requirements.

Committee Chair Councillor Bryony Goodliffe said: “Supported accommodation is a key service that plays a pivotal role in the care system for young people. Our continued support for them is crucial at this time in their lives, and I am pleased that these regulations are being implemented for this sector, which will go towards creating a national set of standards which will provide regulated environments where young people can develop and thrive.”