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County council agrees to explore opening six children’s homes

More children in care will be able to stay in Staffordshire, as plans by the county council have been given the green light.


A paper agreed to the county council’s cabinet, which is also being discussed at the authority’s Safeguarding Committee, outlines plans to open six in-house local authority run children’s homes.


The authority endorsed an ambitious plan last year to help children who need our care live in the right homes. As part of these plans, the county council is looking to join a West Midlands-wide residential care and fostering care framework, so the authority can achieve better value for money and can access more providers and invest in its own homes.


The opening of six new homes will mean more children can be placed in a home within Staffordshire helping the authority at a time when the number of children in care is rising nationally.


It also means children will be cared for in smaller local residential homes that meet their needs and would reduce the number of times a child must move.


County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Mark Sutton said: “Providing a safe and nurturing environment for our most vulnerable children is a priority for us. Most local authorities are facing challenges in this area, which is why it is important we plan effectively to help meet their needs.


“We work with families to keep children within the family setting wherever it is safe to do so. If a child is placed in care, we try to find suitable foster carers to place that child in a loving home environment.


“If, however, a residential home is the appropriate option, developing more places within Staffordshire will ensure our most vulnerable children will be cared for locally and will provide more stability for children - to help them thrive.”


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