Home Children and Young People Accommodation strategy agreed for Children Looked After in Knowsley

Accommodation strategy agreed for Children Looked After in Knowsley

by Emily Maguire

Councils have a legal duty to ensure there is sufficient accommodation in their area to meet the needs of ‘children looked after’ and Cabinet Members have today agreed Knowsley’s Children’s Social Care Sufficiency Strategy for 2022-2025.

The report considered by Knowsley Council Cabinet Members on 15 June highlighted the authority’s investment in preventative services has stabilised Knowsley’s looked after children population, in contrast to increases at a regional and national level.

The report also confirms that the needs of young people who are entering the care system is increasing in complexity.

With demand for appropriate care provision far outstripping supply across the country, and costs increasing and continuing to do so, the report acknowledges this poses challenges for Knowsley, and all local authorities.

In response to this significant and increasing challenge, the Sufficiency Strategy recognises the importance of continuing investment in preventative services to address growing demand over the next three years.

In doing so the Children’s Social Care Sufficiency Strategy for 2022-2025 (and its supporting action plan) sets out five key areas of focus:-

  • Theme 1 – Growth of In-House Fostering and the Quality of Provision;
  • Theme 2 – Market Management;
  • Theme 3 – Residential Strategy;
  • Theme 4 – Permanence and Emotional Wellbeing; and,
  • Theme 5 – Demand Management for Children Looked After and Edge of Care.

The growth of in-house fostering and the quality of provision will be a key element of the strategy ensuring sufficient recruitment of new foster cares and improved quality of support to foster carers.

Furthermore, the Council has also agreed a number of one-off investments for 2022/23. These will be fully evaluated before any recommendations are made about retention of any of these services and their future funding.

Cllr Harvey, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“The Children’s Social Care Sufficiency Strategy has been developed with a view to ensuring that the right services are in place at the right time to support children and young people across Knowsley.

“We will continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy to ensure it is meeting the needs of children in our care, whilst making sure increasing demand can be met in the most cost-effective way.”

The full report on the Children’s Social Care Sufficiency Strategy 2022-25 is available to read on the council’s website.