Children & Families Cabinet Member – Minutes – 22 September 2020
4 CHILDREN IN CARE AND CARE LEAVERS SUFFICIENCY STRATEGY 2020-2022 – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking approval of the revised Children in Care and Care Leavers Sufficiency Strategy 2020-2022.
The Statutory guidance on securing sufficient accommodation for looked after children (2010) required councils to take steps to secure, so far as reasonably practicable, sufficient accommodation within the council’s area which met the needs of its children in care, (‘the sufficiency duty’).
As reflected in the Ofsted 2017 report and further endorsed in Ofsted’s visit in 2019, there was long-standing political and strategic commitment to children and families in North Lincolnshire. The sufficiency strategy was underpinned by and continued to build on the council’s ambition and belief that children should live with their own or extended family networks.
Where it was not possible for children to remain within or return to their own family networks in a timely and supportive way, the council wanted children who entered care to live within an alternative family setting where they were able to build positive relationships with trusted adults. Where it was in the child’s interests to live in a residential children’s home it was expected that this would be the best provision that provided the best care.
The council wanted children to be able to remain in their home as long as they wished in line with their needs and wishes and sought to provide high quality supported and independent accommodation for care leavers as they progressed on to adulthood that enabled them to build their resilience, confidence and life skills as independent adults.
North Lincolnshire Council’s sufficiency strategy was based upon thorough knowledge of the council’s children in care and care leavers and what was required to continue to meet the needs of children who needed to be cared for by the Local Authority. The strategy also complemented and worked in conjunction with the ‘Multi- Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020 – 2022’.
Resolved – That the positive review of the revised Children in Care and Care Leavers Sufficiency Strategy 2020-2022 be welcomed and approved.
2 MULTI-AGENCY CHILDREN IN CARE AND CARE LEAVERS PLAN 2020-2022 – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking approval of the reviewed and revised Multi-Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020-2022.
The council’s ambition was for children to live within their home, attend their school and be a part of their community. As corporate parents, children in care and care leavers in North Lincolnshire were the council’s children and it was deeply rooted in the culture of the council and its partner organisations to care about them in this way. The council was collectively ambitious for children in care and care leavers and expected their outcomes to be every bit as good as their peers – and better. Both whilst they were children in care and as they progressed to adulthood.
The Multi-Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020-2022 set out key priorities, promises and commitment to children in care and care leavers. It built on the council’s success and set out an ambitious agenda for further improvement.
For those very few children who needed to be in the care of the council, investment would be continued in family-based care to achieve stability and permanence. This meant working to keep children within their family networks, help them to return home, or within high quality family placements where this was not possible.
The plan also complemented and worked in conjunction with the North Lincolnshire ‘Children in Care and Care Leavers Sufficiency Strategy 2020-2022’.
Resolved – That the positive review of the Multi-Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020-2022 be welcomed and approved.