Agenda item

Overview of the Transitions Service

Taking into account the information provided both in the attached report and the prior briefing, the Sub-Committee is asked to consider whether it is reassured that the new arrangements for the Transitions Service have been embedded, allowing budget savings to be delivered and potential risks to be appropriately managed.


The Sub-Committee considered a report setting out information on the changes made to the Transitions Service. It was highlighted that in advance of the meeting the Sub-Committee had received a briefing to ensure sub-committee members had an understanding of the services provided by the Transitions team.

The report was introduced by officers, during which it was confirmed that the role of the Transitions Service was to work with young people in care as they reached adulthood. Responsibility for the service had passed to Adult Social Care from April and at present it was projected that the savings targets would be achieved.

The cost of sending young people out of the borough for education was higher than for those educated within the borough. As such the service was working with the Special Educational Needs team to reduce the need for people to travel outside of the borough for education. An additional benefit of educating young people locally was it allowed them to learn to live independently within their locality, which was not the case for those travelling outside of the borough for education.

Following the introduction, the Sub-Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions about the content of the report in order to reach a view about whether the new arrangements for the service had been embedded successfully, the budget savings were achievable and the potential risks were being effectively managed.

The first question asked for further information on the action being taken to ensure that parents and carers understood the process. It was confirmed that the service worked with each family on an individual basis to ensure they received good advice and information to guide their decision making. It was also important to listen to the young person and understand their ambitions for their education. The Transitions teams also worked with both CASSUP and Parents in Partnership to inform the support provided. One of the key actions for the process was to ensure that link workers were involved with families from an early stage to ensure they were not surprised by the process.

In response to a question about how the budget was being managed, it was advised that budget forecasting took place monthly with the Children’s Service to look ahead at potential spend. This allowed the early identification of children with expensive educational arrangements, allowing the service to engage with them to identify alternative options. It was also important to think about the other end of transitions system and how to support the 25 year olds leaving the service to take control of their futures.

To ensure there was line of sight over the budget savings process in the service, monthly budget monitoring sessions took place with accountants who verified that updates were included on the social care system, enabling them to be tracked. Any efficiencies identified would not be entered into the budget monitoring system until they had been verified by the accountants. By carrying out this work, it enabled progress with delivering budgets to be tracked throughout the governance structure.

It was noted that parents may make decisions about their child’s education many year before the Transitions service became involved and as such it was questioned how this could be managed to ensure cost effective outcomes were delivered. It was advised that it was important there was a good local offer in the borough and that families received informed advice about these services.

At the conclusion of this item the Chair thanked the officers for their engagement with the Sub-Committee to ensure the Transitions Service could be effectively scrutinised. It was agreed that the Sub-Committee had received sufficient information about the new arrangements and the budget for the service, to be reassured they were being effectively managed.

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