Decision details

Young Peoples Substance Misuse Service

Decision Maker: Co-operative Executive

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes


Needs analysis to retender the contract to provide harm reduction advice and intervention to young people affected by substance misuse




The Executive Director, Children, Young People and Families submitted a report setting out the need for the young people’s substance misuse service, which is coming to the end of a 4 year commissioning cycle.  The proposal is to recommission for 2+1 years from April 2017 on a tapered budget.  The proposed changes to the specification are in response to the stakeholder consultation and to adapt to changes in profile and the developments within children’s services.









approval is given to retender the Young People’s Substance Misuse Service 2013 - 2017 for 2 years, with an optional one year extension period;






approval is given to a reduction in contract value to reflect the reducing Public Health Grant and reductions made previously to other contracts;






approval is given to the proposed changes to the service specification set out in bullet points within the report at section 6 - Reasons for Recommendations;






authority be delegated to the Director of Commercial Services to approve the procurement strategy for the tender for the Young People’s Substance Misuse Service 2017-2019; and






authority be delegated to the Director of Commercial Services to agree contract terms and approve a contract award following the tender process.





Reasons for Decision




The service will be a delivery partner for the development of a Youth Information Advice and Counselling Service (YIACS) model at Star House, led by Sheffield Futures and building on the co-location of services to provide a co-ordinated one stop shop for young people with access to substance misuse assessment and treatment as part of a wider offer of health and wellbeing needs. 


The substance misuse service will also be involved in delivery of targeted youth support through the development of a broader youth offer.  Whilst the integration of drugs workers into the Youth Justice Service and Community Youth Teams remains an effective model to target need, and provide flexibility to respond to the demand of universal access through YIACS, the youth offer requires the referral pathway to be direct to the provider from a range of referring partners, and for resources to be mobile in response to need. 


As Public Health funding diminishes, commissioners are responding with innovative partnerships between public, voluntary and private sector partners to continue to meet the needs of vulnerable young people.


Following consultation with the incumbent provider, referring partner agencies and service users, the following changes are proposed within the new service specification:

         Staff located in services are integrated into the developing YIACS (Youth Information Advice and Counselling Service) model and aligned to the broader youth offer

         Development support for families of young people who misuse substances through a whole family approach

         Development of specialist support for young people involved in gangs




Alternatives Considered and Rejected




The alternative to commissioning a substance misuse service for children and young people would be to have universal GP (Tier 1) and hospital treatment (Tier 4) with no specialist community provision (Tier 2 and 3).  Schools and organisations working with vulnerable young people, including children in care, would need to draw on their own resources to meet the needs of this cohort of young people without the benefit of targeted specialist resources to support their needs through workforce development and capacity building training, and providing interventions to young people.




If the decision was not to recommission the young people’s substance misuse service, it is likely that vulnerable young people with substance misuse as part of a range of needs would be more likely to be excluded from school and enter the criminal justice system.  This would contribute to an increase in risk, vulnerability and poor life outcomes and potentially impact on community safety and cohesion.




Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted








Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration








Respective Director Responsible for Implementation




Jayne Ludlam, Executive Director, Children, Young People and Families




Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In




Children, Young People and Family Support


Report author: Carol Fordham

Publication date: 23/09/2016

Date of decision: 21/09/2016

Decided at meeting: 21/09/2016 - Co-operative Executive

Effective from: 30/09/2016

Accompanying Documents: