Safely reducing the numbers of looked after children

There are now 493 looked after children in the care of the authority and this number has been reducing steadily for the last 6 months.  Since February there has been a reduction of 28 looked after children and the teams are clearly working hard to get these good results.

The child and family services scrutiny panel has been monitoring performance in child and family services every quarter for the last 3 years.  The panel has consistently scrutinised this area because it is an area of high demand and high spend, it is vital that recent good performance is maintained and because children generally have better outcomes when they are cared for in a family environment.

Each time the panel scrutinises the performance data it focuses a good part of its questioning on understanding how the department is reducing the numbers of looked after children and making sure that the continued reduction in numbers is sustainable and above all safe.  The scrutiny panel is really pleased with performance in this area and feels that the service is in a good position to continue to reduce the numbers of looked after children.

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