Wisbech to become hub for revolutionary new way of tackling adolescents as county council look to implement ‘no wrong door’ policy

Cambridgeshire could see its own 'No Wrong Door' policy copied acrossfrom Yorkshire

Cambridgeshire could see its own 'No Wrong Door' policy copied acrossfrom Yorkshire - Credit: Archant

County council officials will travel to Yorkshire to see in action a ‘no wrong door’ policy for troubled youngsters that could see a similar – and successful – launch in Cambridgeshire with Wisbech as its base.

The Yorkshire trial has seen 86 per cent of adolescents remain at home through using out-of care support in the first year with marked reductions in remands and what officials describe as “crisis presentations”.

For Cambridgeshire the plan is to replicate the service to ensure a single team of case workers “stay with the young person throughout their care journey”.

The council’s general purposes committee will be reviewing cost options for the new policy this month with the possible appointment of a ‘no wrong door’ £60,000 a year manager on a fixed two year term.

Clinicians, speech and language therapists and a host of other workers will work with them based around a children’s home in Wisbech that will become the hub for the new service.

Council staff expect the new service will help reduce risks of child exploitation, reduce offending, create more stable and sustained return home visitors, and, crucially, improve long term and after care outcomes.

“Key to the model is the consistent wrap-around support for young people with complex needs to avoid the use of costly external residential provision that may not meet need,” says a report to the GP committee.

Most Read

The committee will hear if over each year 10 such young people could be supported by the hub rather than being placed or remaining in external residential provision, the savings could exceed £1.2 million a year.

Officials believe the hub model will also prevent placement breakdowns by providing outreach support for young people and their carers.

One assumption is that the council will be able to recruit to key posts for roles in Wisbech.

“The key base in Wisbech may have an impact on the ability to recruit to the key posts,” says a report. “This can be mitigated by flexible working arrangements. If young people spend time at the residential hub in Wisbech and are engaged and attending schools in other areas, transport costs will be incurred in supporting them to remain at school.”