Report from the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services.
Consideration was given to the report which explained that the current Looked After Children’s (LAC) Strategy had been agreed in June 2019 and was due to end in December 2022. As such, a new Strategy needed to be in place for January 2023. The Duty of ‘sufficiency’ required Local Authorities (LA) to ensure that there was a range of sufficient and appropriate placements that met the needs of children and young people that were looked after by the LA. There was also a responsibility to take steps to develop and shape service provision to meet the needs of all children and young people in care at a local level, as far as was reasonably possible. The Looked After Children and Care Leavers Sufficiency Strategy 2023-2028 had been developed in line with the duty to provide or procure placements for Looked After Children by the Local Authority.
The Strategy identified the principles that were applied when commissioning the provision of secure, safe and appropriate accommodation and support to children in care and care leavers over the next 3 years. It provided the needs analysis that informed market management work, seeking to ensure that there was the right mix of provision available to meet the needs of children and young people and that this provision mix provided positive outcomes and value for money. Whilst the Strategy was not primarily a financial one, it was expected that the commissioning and strategic intentions set out would provide significant cost avoidance and savings opportunities and which were essential to the sustainability of improved outcomes and the LA budget.
The 2023-2028 Strategy was attached to the report as Appendix 1. It was confirmed that monitoring and oversight of progress against the delivery plan and an annual review of the aspirations would be undertaken by the Corporate Parenting Board.
1. That Cabinet approve the new Strategy.
2. That Cabinet approve that the monitoring and oversight of progress against the delivery plan, and annual review of the aspirations, be undertaken by the Corporate Parenting Board.