About the Looked-after Children Placement Strategy consultation
We have pledged to our children in care (looked-after children) that we will provide them with homes where they feel “safe, settled and happy.” Our outcomes for looked-after children show that we are good at ensuring they have safe and stable placements, but we want to further improve this. We are consulting on a new placements strategy to ensure we have sufficient accommodation for our looked-after children, that is good quality and represents good value for money.
The Sufficiency Duty in the Children Act of 1989 requires us to take steps to secure sufficient accommodation within our area, which meets the needs of the children that we look after or who may need to be accommodated away from the family home.
To meet this duty, we are looking at the following types of provision:
- foster care
- residential care
- 16+ semi-independent/supported accommodation
- ad-hoc placements, such as overnight foster care under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and parent and child placements
We aim to reduce demand on the care system by providing earlier intervention, more joined-up services and locality-based help to vulnerable families.
However, nationally and locally, more children are coming into care and staying in care. At the same time, there is a national shortage of foster carers and placements are becoming increasingly expensive. Like all local authorities, our funding from central government for providing these services has been significantly reduced, and that means working in a more efficient way to meet placement needs.
Download the consultation document (link opens in new window).