Joint Commissioning Unit
The Joint Commissioning Unit is a lead contributor in the strategic planning and commissioning of services in order to improve outcomes for all children and young people (0-19) in Kent, particularly those who are vulnerable. In doing so, the Unit works in close partnership with senior colleagues in the Children, Families & Education Directorate (CFE) and other statutory agencies as well as the Third Sector to develop mechanisms for joint planning and commissioning services that ensure fully integrated systems of support to meet specific need.
The role of the Unit is to support, build upon and enhance collaborative multi-agency working and commissioning in the children’s services arena with the aim of improving outcomes for all children and young people (wellbeing, safety, educational attainment and achievement, health and enjoyment), particularly those who are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in their communities.
Key areas of work are:
Contribute to and support strategic and locality based joint planning and commissioning arrangements to improve outcomes for all children and young people. The focus of this work is in supporting the collaborative working practices and commissioning arrangements in the Local Children’s Service Partnerships (LCSPs). We have lead work to produce Integrated Commissioning Guidance for the LCSPs, please use the following link to view these documents: Integrated Commissioning Framework and Guidance
Strategic lead for the central commissioning of services for vulnerable children & young people e.g. Targeted Youth Support (TYS), Connexions etc.
- Local Authorities have a statutory responsibility to implement TYS in order to provide swift and easy access to integrated services for vulnerable young people aged 14 and over.
- TYS aim is to intervene early when young people face challenges, thus, preventing problems from escalating and thereby giving young people the best opportunities to make the most of their lives.
- TYS is being introduced across Kent as part of the phased approach linked to the roll-out of CAF. Kent’s progress on TYS is being monitored through a self-assessment toolkit which has been adapted for use at a local level.
- Using existing resources more effectively
Kent is currently graded by the DCSF as having implemented TYS against the seven key delivery areas of the toolkit: - consultation with users - effective processes for early identification of vulnerable young people - access to support through universal settings - access to relevant services in appropriate settings - support for young people across key transitions, both in their life and between areas and agencies - efficient assessment processes using CAF - wide use of the lead professional role
- This does not mean that all LCSPs are fully implementing all seven elements but are making good progress towards implementation. This is an indication of existing good practice across the county and the quality of services being delivered for young people.
Facilitate and support integrated working and processes and system development and improvement in line with the Kent Children’s Trust’s agreed frameworks.