Children and young people in care in Essex are set to benefit from a new approach to residential care following a £3million boost from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.
The successful outcome of Essex County Council’s (ECC) bid to the programme was announced today, Thursday 6 July, by Robert Goodwill, Minister for Children and Families, in his first speech to the children’s social care sector at the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) conference.
The funding – part of a £30million package being shared nationally – will support the development of an alternative to traditional residential care over the next three years, aimed at children who have previously had multiple, unsuccessful care placements not only in Essex, but also in Hertfordshire and Norfolk.
It will involve trialling intensive and targeted support within the family home, combined with periods of time in care, which will mean the level of overall state intervention required is greatly reduced and the experience for vulnerable young people is improved.
Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I’m delighted the DfE has recognised the value of our bid and excited to work in partnership with Hertfordshire and Norfolk, as well as local children’s homes and the voluntary sector to deliver our vision.