Summary of project vision
The Stepping Stones business case was approved by Shropshire Council in 2019 and set out a vision for a project which (based on the North Yorkshire model 'No Wrong Door') would provide individualised, intensive, wrap around support to children and parents.
Stepping Stones Project is based on the premise children achieve better outcomes living in a home environment wherever possible. Stepping Stones works differently in that it works with adults in their own right to understand their own lived experience and trauma, to provide them with the opportunity to work through any issues and provide tools and strategies to enable effective parenting.
A multi-skilled team is key, working with presenting issues, the causal factors and through quick development and implementation of tailored support to get the right support first time to children, adults and families.
The project aims to change the thinking that children living in a residential care arrangement are children that cannot be fostered. It seeks to challenge the preconceived ideas that children go through a system of foster care and then to residential, with no option of return back to foster care or home when the time is right. The long-term goal with all children is to live in an environment that matches their needs and Stepping Stones aims to support children step down from residential care when the time is right for them with empathetic and skilled carers that are able to meet their ongoing needs.
The project is based on the North Yorkshire 'No Wrong Door' project, which successfully improved the safety and stability of children and young people by a right people, right place, right time approach.
The purpose of the Stepping Stones project is to:
Reduce the number of children requiring high-cost residential placements in Shropshire - at the start this was 65
Total saving/avoidance targets of £6.285 million
Increase the number of children being able to safely return to live with their family or a foster family
Provide a holistic, psychologically informed approach which provides wrap around, individualised support to children, young people and adults in families
Reframe the view and use of residential care, where essential to a short-term intervention rather than long term solution
Address issues of placement stability