Helping to improve the lives of looked after children

A group of councillors carried out a detailed investigation into how the Council and partners provide services for looked after children.  At the end of the investigation the councillors on the Services for Looked After Children Scrutiny Inquiry Panel made 15 recommendations in their report to Cabinet which they hoped would improve the lives and experiences of looked after children.

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The Cabinet Member for Well Being, Councillor Mark Child, was asked to respond to each of the 15 recommendations and to come up  with a plan to demonstrate how each of the accepted recommendations would be  put into action.

The Cabinet Member’s response and action plan were presented to the Cabinet meeting earlier this week and Councillor Mark Child accepted all the recommendations (partially accepting 1).

This is good news as it means progress on a number of important issues , including looking at:

  • The sufficiency of resources within the Independent Reviewing Officer team
  • Joint working to develop the use of community support networks to prevent family breakdown
  • Lobbying for the continuity of national grants which support the educational attainment of looked after children
  • Minimising the use of out of county foster care placements
  • Ensuring that the foster carer package remains attractive to new and existing foster carers
  • The provision of welfare advice to looked after children, as they transition out of care

The Inquiry Panel will meet again just to monitor the action plan over the next 12 months. This will help scrutiny to measure the impact of this work and difference made. The Inquiry Panel will report back to the Scrutiny Programme Committee its view about progress and implementation of recommendations.

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