New scheme to help people with special needs and disabilities in Hartlepool | #specialneeds | #kids

The new scheme is being developed to support adults with learning and physical disabilities and mental health needs.
The new scheme is being developed to support adults with learning and physical disabilities and mental health needs.
Councillors have approved the development of a Hartlepool Shared Lives provision, in partnership with Durham County Council.

The scheme matches an adult who needs care with an approved carer, who then shares their family and community life and gives care and support to that person.

Previously Hartlepool had carried out spot purchasing of placements with Durham County Council, the majority of which were for looked after children with additional needs where foster carers wished to continue support after they turned 18.

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However following a review, council officers have decided the best way forward would be to develop a formal partnership agreement to deliver a full Shared Lives scheme for Hartlepool residents

Danielle Swainston, council assistant director for joint commissioning, told the adult and community based services committee the plan will benefit those in need in Hartlepool.

She said: “It’s an opportunity for individuals, instead of having to live in either shared accommodation or supported living or care homes, this gives them the opportunity to share their lives with families

“A family takes in an individual and they become part of their family make up, they become part of that whole family.

“The work with Durham has been quite clear, they know we want a Hartlepool Shared Lives provision.

“They completely understand we need our own provision, which would mean that we would have a specific manager allocated to us to work through that marketing, that understanding of Hartlepool and our carers, and our demographic and how our community works.

“We’re hoping that this works really, really well, we’re quite excited about rolling this out further because we think it’s got a huge amount of opportunities, not only for long term family arrangements but also some respite arrangements.”

She added they have also received a lot of positive feedback from both families and those cared for who have been involved in the scheme.

Families who want to be considered as Shared Lives carers will put themselves forward for the scheme, and are then assessed, approved and matched if the process is successful.

Cllr Stephen Thomas praised the initiative and added the community and voluntary sector in Hartlepool could help make some ‘fantastic contributions’ and should also be involved.

He said: “I think it is a really good initiative, much needed, and is going to give some support to people who really, really need it.”

The scheme will be for an initial three year period, with the option to extend for longer if successful.

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