Councils take collaborative approach to help young people

A unique collaboration will help young people
A unique collaboration will help young people

Four local authorities, including Oxfordshire County Council, are set to boost therapeutic residential care and education to local young people with complex emotional and behavioural needs in collaboration with the Keys Group.

The unique partnership, known as the Thames Valley Contract, began last month and is the first of its kind in the UK.

Lucy Butler, director for children’s services at Oxfordshire County Council said: “The Thames Valley Contract is an example of the fantastic services that can be put in place for young people with complex needs through a collaborative approach.

"Oxfordshire County Council is proud to be part of this unique project that demonstrates the value of Progressive Commissioning with a consortium of local authorities.”

The collaborative project is based on the secure base model therapeutic approach which is rooted in the belief that building strong emotional attachments is essential to positive child development.

Keys Group, a provider of innovative care and education services for children and young people who have complex needs or emotional and behavioural difficulties, won the re-tender for the innovative cross-regional project which it has operated for the past eight years.

Emma Beech, managing director at Keys Group said: “We are delighted to have won the competitive tender process for the Thames Valley Contract.

"Providing young people with specialist therapeutic care and education is so important for boosting their development and allowing them to thrive.

"This contract will enable us to continue delivering exceptional outcomes for the young people that we support.

She added: "We have been privileged to work with local authorities in the region for the last eight years and are very much looking forward to progressing our joint efforts.”

The participating local authorities; Oxfordshire County Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Milton Keynes Council, will also play an essential role in increasing the provision for young people with complex needs across the region.

The new Thames Valley Contract will see an increase in number of placements for young people being offered in residential care and education and Keys Group are set to open two new residential homes in Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes and a satellite school as part of the project.