How will the Council reduce the numbers of looked after children?

The Child & Family Services Performance Panel met last week to examine recent performance in Child & Family Services.  In particular, the panel focused on the high numbers of children in the care of the authority (looked after children) and how the authority will sustainably and safely reduce the numbers of children entering the care of the authority.  Not only does reducing the numbers of looked after children improve outcomes for children but it also helps to relieve budget pressures within Child & Family Services in difficult economic times.

The Head of Service was questioned by the councillors on the panel on the effectiveness of the Looked After Children Reduction Strategy, something which the Cabinet Member for Well-Being suggested the panel could focus on. 

The Head of Service was confident in the effectiveness of the strategy and talked through a number of examples  where the strategy had started to show benefits . 

  • The multi-agency Permanence Panel had reduced the numbers of children becoming looked after in the early part of the year. 
  • The Permanence Team had 80 case  proceedings to move looked after children to special guardianship orders.
  • The balance between placements in independent foster agencies and Foster Swansea was gradually being tipped back towards Foster Swansea .
  • Foster carers from the independent sector have transferred to Foster Swansea because of the improved quality of service delivered by Foster Swansea.

The panel agreed with and supported  the Looked After Children Strategy as the means to sustainably reduce the numbers of children coming into the care of the authority.

Looking ahead to the next meeting the panel agreed to invite the Cabinet Member for Target Areas to discuss looked after children.


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