The Slough Children’s placement sufficiency strategy sets out our ambitions for children and young people who may become looked after or who are looked after over the next three years (2023-26.)
Central to the strategy is a fundamental belief that every child has the right to grow up in a family home wherever possible. We will do everything we can to support children and young people to stay within their family where possible, where it is safe to do so, before considering that they need to be cared for outside of their family home. The sufficiency strategy will achieve this by focusing on 5 key priorities:
- strengthening Early Help and developing ‘Edge of Care’ and reunification support
- a clear focus on our recruitment and retention of foster carers and developing options for children to exit residential care into a family home, where possible
- ensuring robust commissioning arrangements and value for money relationships with providers
- achieving permanence for children at the earliest opportunity
- providing care experienced young people with a variety of placement options and support to independence.
Slough Children First and Slough Borough Council are committed to achieving the best for our children and work across all council departments to achieve this for our cared for children. The five priority areas will be delivered via specific workstreams, led by our strategic managers, and overseen by a Sufficiency Board to ensure progress and that outcomes are achieved.
Sue Butcher, director of children’s services and chief executive of Slough Children First, said: “Every child and young person deserves a supportive and loving home where they feel cared for and safe. However, if you have ever been a child or young person in the care of a local authority or a young adult that has previously been looked after, this is all the more important.
“Slough’s new Children and Young People’s Placement Sufficiency Strategy sets out how we will provide these homes which could mean staying at home with family support in place, living with foster carers, living in a residential children’s home, or being supported to live independently. Our vision is ‘Happy, Safe and Loved, Thriving’.”
Councillor Paul Kelly, cabinet member for education and children's services, said: “The placement sufficiency strategy puts processes in place to ensure the best outcome for each child in our care. It is our priority that looked after children feel secure, supported, and are encouraged to achieve their full potential. This strategy will be overseen by a Sufficiency Board to ensure key milestones are met, and that we are on track to achieve the five key priorities laid out within it.”