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Better outcomes for children, young people and adults with disabilities and autism in West Sussex

It’s an exciting time to be working in West Sussex County Council’s Children and Families, Health and Education directorate.  We are creating a Lifelong Service which will work with people with lifelong disabilities and autism of all ages to improve their wellbeing, independence and resilience, and achieve cost effectiveness for the LA.

We asked our new interim Head of LLS Christine Whitehead, to tell us more.

What is the vision for LLS?

The vision is to provide a consistent approach to working in partnership with children, young people and adults with lifelong disabilities, autism and their families, which will offer early intervention, build on individuals’ strengths to develop skills and independence, promote and maintain safety and good health, and facilitate employment. This will help to make best use of public money, provide a more joined up and coherent experience for the people we work with and enable individuals to live a ‘good life’ as defined by them.

Why do you think your new role is important and how does it contribute?

The head of LLS role is a really exciting opportunity to lead the development and implementation of wide-scale transformation across children’s disability teams, adults’ disability teams and the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT). This will reshape how support is delivered for children and adults putting a clear emphasis on early planning for adulthood, backed up by early intervention and the application of a streamlined and outcome focused assessment process.

We want to be certain that our young people with disabilities and autism have the smoothest possible transitions from children’s to adult services. To make this happen we know we need to make sure that we always put good plans in place early in people’s life’s which focus on them as individuals and which are designed to help them maximise their potential through the rest of their life. We want to make sure that there is no confusion about what people can expect from us and so we are creating our new Lifelong Service.

How is the work progressing to develop LLS?

There are six areas of work identified which will contribute to achieving this vision and which are being progressed in line with the agreed timescales:

  1. Bringing Teams Together to create a unified structure
  2. Developing a Model to ensure person centred practice and a streamlined pathway
  3. Thinking Differently to establish a shared culture and good practice
  4. Bringing Budgets Together which will facilitate effective whole life budget planning and improved efficiencies
  5. Planning Together to provide appropriate support and provision for all levels of need
  6. Coproduction to involve the people we work with in the planning and design  of LLS and place the voice and views of children, young people and adults with disabilities and autism at the centre of the programme. 

What advice would you give applicants?

I would recommend that anyone considering applying should familiarise themselves with West Sussex because it is a great place to live and work. They should also talk to me to get an update on the progress of the transformation.

To help us continue with the change we are now seeking a transformative leader who understands the challenges facing those with disabilities and wants to make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people across the County.

Are you interested, would you like to help us make a difference? If so, I would encourage you to apply for this exciting post or contact our recruitment partners at Penna for a confidential conversation.

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