Recommendations for Welsh Government:
- As the responsible body for the administration of funding for Regional Partnership Boards, Welsh Government need to demonstrate leadership by clarifying their responsibility for the framework within which Regional Partnership Boards operate. Welsh Government should ensure that robust accountability mechanisms are in place for Regional Partnership Boards to report on their work on multi-agency arrangements for children with complex needs, including transitions to adult services. This should include proactively reviewing Regional Partnership Boards’ Area Plans and monitoring progress against their ambitions through Annual Reports and meetings.
- Welsh Government will need to support Regional Partnership Boards with their long term strategies. This support will be needed more than ever because of the current circumstances, and should make clear how Welsh Government will make funding available to achieve better experiences and outcomes for children and their families. This should include system change that will help families experience a ‘no wrong door’ approach in every region such as integrated teams, panel and hub models to provide timely joined-up help, drop in centres and plans for integrated residential provision where needed.
- Welsh Government should amend the Partnership Arrangements and Population Assessments Regulations to require pooled funding for a ‘no wrong door’ approach for children and young people.
- The current Welsh Government review of ‘safe accommodation’ must lead to concrete action being taken to develop new residential provision in Wales for children with complex needs upon reporting.
- Welsh Government and the Together for Children and Young People Programme (2) should work with their partners and with Regional Partnership Boards to organise further shared learning events to focus specifically on a ‘no wrong door’ approach for children and young people with complex needs.
- These shared learning events should include discussions of barriers between services’ use of language (particularly but not confined to health, social care and education) around children with complex needs, in order to promote the new broader definition under the revised Part 9 statutory guidance, as well as being guided by the National Commissioning Board Wales’ definition. The events should also include discussions of the issue of how information is shared and resources are pooled, and whether the current information sharing system needs improvement.