At their next meeting on Wednesday 14 July, cabinet members will be asked to approve the refreshed Placement and Sufficiency Strategy for children in care and care leavers. The 2021-2023 strategy has been updated as part of the annual strategy refresh to make sure we can meet the accommodation and support needs of children in care in the most effective way possible.
The refreshed strategy will continue to focus on the following objectives:
- To ensure accommodation of enough quality and volume which satisfies our ambition to improve outcomes for children in care;
- To ensure maximum value for money in providing accommodation and support, amongst significant pressures on our resources and national challenges;
- To ensure the needs of children can continue to be met, particularly children and young people with complex needs;
- To develop the local market for accommodation and support of children in care to make sure children can be cared for as near to home as possible.
The priorities in the strategy identified by all partners in the Children and Young People's Trust are:
- That children and young people are supported to remain with their families and communities wherever possible and enter the care system only when absolutely necessary;
- That children and young people who are admitted to care will receive high-quality support to remain in care only for as long as is necessary to ensure successful reintegration to their families and communities and;
- That where children and young people spend time in care, the experience is a positive one that will help them realise their potential, achieve successful outcomes, and sustain positive health, well-being and resilience throughout their life.
Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children's Services, said: "This is a positive strategy which reassures that we are delivering good outcomes and services to our children in care and care leavers and shows that we are managing our resources effectively, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
"It sets out our plans and priorities to help us meet the needs of children in care. We don't want being in care to be a barrier to success, and this strategy will allow us to give our children and young people the best possible chance of reaching their potential and going on to great things in life."