Council set to agree additional accommodation to support children in care

10/01/2019, PR-8963

More good quality, local residential accommodation to support children in care looks set to be agreed by senior councillors, as Wakefield Council continues on the journey to transform its children’s services.

The proposal, which is being discussed at the Cabinet meeting on 15 January, would see the development of two new children’s homes each with two bedrooms, as well as changes to the current children’s homes, at Benson Lane and Dacre Avenue - bringing eight additional placements to the district to support children in care and enabling them to stay in the local area.

Significant work is also underway to try and increase local authority fostering placements to help keep children in the district and near their family and friends. As well as this being beneficial for the children it also helps social workers build more positive relationships, which improves the support they can offer.

Cllr Margaret Isherwood
Cllr Margaret Isherwood

Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This proposal is just one element of an action plan we have in place to help support children in care.

“We are determined to ensure that more of our children have access to a good quality local accommodation, especially as we know this will have a positive impact on them and their families. For some children, only very small residential units, like the new ones we are proposing, offer the stability and care they need.

“The number of children in care nationally continues to rise, which means that many areas are experiencing difficulties in finding quality placements for children – both in fostering and residential care. Although Wakefield’s current number of children in care is lower than the national average, the Council wants to provide the best possible accommodation opportunities for the children it supports and be ready to respond to any changes.”

Cllr Isherwood added: “We are also working hard to develop more accommodation for care leavers and increase our pool of foster carers. Fostering can be a tremendously rewarding experience, making a real difference to children’s lives so if anyone if interested I would urge them to get in touch.”

To find out more about fostering visit
www.wakefield.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 197 0320.

The Cabinet meeting will take place at 10.30am on Tuesday 15 January. People can watch live or later at
www.wakefield.gov.uk/livestream

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