Green light to merge youth and adult alcohol and drug misuse services

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Residents seeking help for drug or alcohol abuse may see a change to services as Rotherham Council has today (November 22) approved the integration of youth and adult services into one.

Bosses say the move will mean a smoother transition from youth to adult services, and provide more support for youngsters, according to council documents.

Rotherham’s cabinet members today approved the merge, and will begin a commissioning exercise with prospective providers, and will select a provider to run the service from April 1, 2023 for five years, with the potential to extend for another five.

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Councillor David Roche, cabinet member for adult social care and health, told today’s cabinet meeting that the service includes a “wide range” of areas such as drug and alcohol treatment, reducing drug related deaths, re-offending and homelessness.

Councillor David Roche said there is a "real, urgent need" in Rotherham for the service.Councillor David Roche said there is a "real, urgent need" in Rotherham for the service.
Councillor David Roche said there is a "real, urgent need" in Rotherham for the service.

“The proposal is to combine children’s and adults into one contract, while ensuring that the separate needs for children young people and adults are both met,” said Coun Roche.

“This will mean that we can provide a universal offer while still catering to different needs.

“The added benefits of a single provider is a flexibility of staffing across different needs, and consistency when service users transition from a young peoples to adults plan.”

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Coun Roche added that the council will consult service users, employees, GPs and pharmacists before it begins the tendering process.

A needs assessment has been undertaken, which Coun Roche said “shows a real, urgent need” in Rotherham for the service.

Both the adult and children’s service are currently contracted to Change, Grow, Live.

“The service also works very closely with the criminal justice system, and deals approximately with 1,300 people a year,” added Coun Roche.

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“The children and young people’s service currently provides advice and education to under 18s with prevention at the core.

“Referral numbers are low, usually averaging under 100 people a year, but the service does include going out into the community, providing advice, education and so forth.

“There’s also a strong possibility that we may need to change a few things.

“This may include a different government funding, and so therefore that may allow us to do a bit more.”

A report to cabinet states that 30 per cent of adult Rotherham residents drink over the recommended limit of 14 units per week, compared to 26 per cent nationally.