Scrutiny councillors publish report on services for looked after children

The Looked After Children Scrutiny Inquiry Panel has completed the inquiry into how support services for looked after children in Swansea can be improved.  The report, which will be presented to the Scrutiny Programme Committee on Monday 10th June, contains the conclusions and recommendations of the panel after 6 months of evidence gathering.

The topic was chosen because in recent years there had been an upward trend in the numbers of children in the care of the Council; these children have poorer life chances and outcomes than their peers who are not in the care of the Council.

Over the course of the inquiry the scrutiny councillors heard evidence from several organisations which provided support and services for looked after children.

Overall the inquiry concluded that preventing family breakdown is the best way to ensure that children do not enter the care system in the first place.  It was recognised though that some children will become looked after and when this happened they needed access to stable foster care placements in Swansea; improved levels of access to advocacy services; financial and educational support to ensure they go on to further or higher education; as they moved out of the care system they must have access to up to date information on welfare rights.

The panel made a number of recommendations which can be read in the final report.  The final report will be agreed for submission to Cabinet and will be presented to Cabinet in July.  The Cabinet Member for Well Being will  agree or not agree each recommendation and draw up an action plan within 3 months to implement the agreed recommendations.  The inquiry panel will then reconvene just for the purpose of monitoring the action plan over the course of the next 12 months.


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