At a conference hosted by Welsh Government in Llandrindod Wells today based on ‘Improving Outcomes for Children’, professionals within children’s social care came together to discuss the range of challenges facing the sector.
Attending the conference, WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Councillor Huw David (Bridgend) said:
“For all stakeholders involved in social care in Wales, today’s conference was yet another reminder of the myriad financial and demographic challenges facing the sector. This is why the WLGA earlier this week fully welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Children of an extra £15m which will help keep children in Wales from needing to go into care.
"WLGA has been fully consulted on this issue by the Minister for Children, Huw Irranca-Davies. We are pleased that he has recognised the call by WLGA for a local government preventative services fund stemming from the £30m allocation to Regional Partnership boards.”
“The pressure on looked after children budgets are intense and costs rising exponentially. There are large overspends in the system currently as more children fall into the category of being looked after. Preventing children, especially those with adverse childhood experiences, entering the system is a core objective of councils. This funding will help in developing long-term programmes that will protect and care for all children and young people, but especially those that are vulnerable.”
"Under Section 76 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, a child may in some cases need the local authority to provide them with accommodation because there is no one who has parental responsibility for them, or in cases where they are lost or abandoned, or circumstances prevent them from receiving care and accommodation from a parent or person with parental responsibility. This is a key duty of care that councils have to protect and safeguard children.
"Only last week, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland said the current provision for secure homes was inadequate and new therapeutic residential services for children and young people were urgently needed in Wales. WLGA endorses this view and hope that we will be undertaking further work with Welsh Government to address this urgent need."