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Arosfa - Service Model

Published: 14/05/2021

When they meet on 18 May, Cabinet members will be asked to recognise the progress made at Arosfa in Mold and support the opportunity to provide additional flexible support for up to four children and their families, with the aim of keeping families together and closer to home.

Arosfa is a well-established service providing short term breaks and respite for children with disabilities. The unused left wing at Arosfa has been refurbished to provide two additional places at the facility. This additional service, two new places, is in addition to the current short break respite provision for up to three children at any one time. Together the plans would enable us support a maximum of five children at any one time.

Since 2012 Action for Children have successfully provided a short breaks service for disabled children at Arosfa which meets a wide range of purposes. It gives young people an opportunity to spend time away from home and socialise outside of school with friends in a way that disabled children rarely get a chance to do. It also provides a much-needed break for parents and carers.

Action for Children’s current contract commenced in April 2017 to deliver a service for three years, with the possibility of an extension up to two years. The contract allows for amendments for increase in service.

The original proposal was to increase the capacity within Arosfa to accommodate two permanent long-term residents. This would be in addition to the current short break, respite provision for up to three children.

The new proposal recognises that there are a number of children/young people currently in Flintshire whose place within the family home is a risk due to their complex needs and challenging behaviour associated with their diagnosis.  An alternative flexible model is proposed for the residential facility in which a shared care respite service for a maximum of four children/ young people can be delivered. Longer term placements can also be considered and this means the service can respond to what is most needed by families.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:

“This forward-thinking proposal focuses on positive outcomes for these young people.  If four children can continue to live in the family home, they will keep their current/local place at school. This is better for the child’s routine and continuity, also avoiding the cost of expensive educational placements.

“It will increase current capacity in Flintshire to also offer more respite care provision and allow flexibility to enable us to more actively respond to identified needs.”

Action for Children and Social Services wish to trial this approach starting on a phased basis, with the service commencing in April 2021 and introducing one child at a time before building up to supporting four children and young people after 12 months; this way it enables us to reflect, learn and possible be flexible in our approach based on the needs of the children/ young people and families.