Agenda item

Overview of Placements in Children's Homes 2017-2018

To provide an update on placements made in Children’s Homes during the period 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.


The Panel received a report from the Director of Children’s Services providing an overview of placements in Children’s Homes in 2017-2018 (Item 7 in the Minute Book).


The Panel were provided with an update on progress made since the Residential Strategy was implemented which was seen as a flagship strategy, based on the provision of an emotional and warmth-based parenting approach in Children’s Homes.  The Panel noted that five purpose built new homes had recently been completed, and Ofsted had rated all of the eight operating Children’s Homes in Hampshire as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.  Members attention was drawn to Section 4 of the report which highlighted moves for children and staff as the build programme progressed.


Officers informed Members that a total of 50 children had been looked after in children’s homes in the period 2017/18 and Section 6 of the report gave greater detail of the admission figures.  Details of the number of children discharged during this period were also highlighted and it was heard that of the 24 children discharged, 5 children under the age of 16 were returned to their family or foster carer which demonstrated positive progress in areas such as helping parents with parenting skills.


The Panel noted the increase in the number of children in placement as of 31 March 2018 compared to the previous year and this was due to the opening of the new homes.  Officers drew Members attention to the support for young people and the close working with Adult Services to ensure that young people moved forward with support, and within their own timescales.


Members were informed of the strategies put in place to address issues such as recruiting staff to the new build homes and it was heard that children and young people in the homes were actively involved in the recruitment process. 


It was noted that overall, the Residential Strategy was progressing well and there had been positive feedback for homes, with exceptional praise from an Ofsted Inspector for Crofton House in Havant. 


In response to questions, Members heard that:


·         Partners in Practice would be on-line in September which would involve work by multi-disciplinary teams.

·         Ofsted ratings for Children’s Homes could be downgraded for reasons such as having to place a child in emergency care, and Ofsted had been questioned regarding reasons for giving specific ratings to Children’s Homes.

·         That regulations were in place to ensure that children were placed in homes which were age appropriate, and with other age appropriate children.  The department would continue to work closely with Adult Services to ensure the transition of young people to the right care resources once they reachED the age of 17.

·         That whilst no new homes were currently being planned, demand for places would be closely monitored.

·         It was noted that the number of children placed in children’s homes more then 20 miles from Hampshire was currently 14%, and this could be explained for a variety of reasons such as children seeking asylum and finding the right home for children displaying certain behaviour.  Members heard that this was also an area which was constantly monitored and held to account. 





That the Children and Families Advisory Panel note the progress of the Residential Strategy.

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