Skip to Content

Looked After Children (CYP2 )

Core Offer

Portfolio: Children and Young People Portfolio

This core offer includes services that the council is legally obliged to provide. The link below provides detailed information about what is included.

Link: CYP2 - Looked After Children

Related FAQs

The Council’s Children’s Services has already failed an Ofsted report – won’t cutting the budget make things worse?

The Council’s Children’s Services has already failed an Ofsted report – won’t cutting the budget make things worse?

We are spreading reductions over time to work with partners on new services. We now have an improvement plan in place to tackle the problems highlighted by Oftsed, which is getting us back on track, and ensures that all our services contribute to giving all children and young people in Darlington the best start in life.
Our proposals aim to develop a new service that combines early help with other support, which will include Children’s Centre delivery, early help and Troubled Families. Working with partners we are changing our approach, building on what works to target support at those children and families in greatest need. We are also strengthening our area social work teams and management in response to the Ofsted improvement plan. 

Your Say

2 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal

Comment

Core CYP2 (Looked After Children)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: There is no provision in the budget for preventative measures – it is very short-sighted. Other local authorities are ploughing money into preventative services such as the looked after children strategy because one looked after child costs £10,000s a year. One child in a specialist place can cost £5k a week so it does not make good financial sense to pull all the money out of mental health, children’s centres etc. What you are going to have is more children coming into care, more people homeless which is going to cost the council more in the longer term.
I do know what happens when you don’t invest in preventative services but we are between a rock and a hard place.

A: The position we are in is absolute madness. We are setting up problems for the future but we have the budget that we have and we want to have a conversation about how can we make that go as far as we can. We have never said we have all the right answers, we have said we will have a conversation to see if there is a better way of doing it. No other council is holding anything like this event but I think it gets people involved and that’s what is needed. We are not investing in the future and we are going to pay for it down the line but the council is where it’s at – what can we do? What would you suggest?

Core CYP2 (Looked After Children)
Core CYP3 (Disabled Children)

As a local resident, I am worried about the increasing budget pressures on vital local services for disabled children and the long term costs to our local community if families are left to fall into crisis. I recently received information from Contact a Family, the charity for disabled children, which has found evidence of worrying levels of unmet need for short breaks (respite) services. More than half of respondents to their survey had never used a short breaks service, many were unsure about how to access these services, and some were entirely unaware of the existence of short breaks services. Families with disabled children that do access short breaks services describe them as a lifeline. Families say “Short breaks are invaluable to allow families like ours to stay functional. Short breaks help hold the family together, more families breaking down would cost more in the long term.” Short breaks give parent carers a much needed break, supporting them to cope with their complex care responsibilities and thus drastically reducing demand for crisis or emergency services. They can also offer disabled children the chance to develop valuable new skills and to experience different activities. I realise that you must be facing difficult budgetary decisions, given current funding pressures, but this seems all the more reason for prudent investment in preventative services, like short breaks. There are many different types of short breaks, so prices do vary, but there is clear evidence that providing these short breaks is far cheaper than allowing families to reach crisis point. • £70-£373 – unit cost of residential overnight short break (per child per 24 hours). • £100-£205 – unit cost of day care, short break (per child per session). • £3,089 – average cost of care in residential care home (per child per week). • £5,500 – average cost of service provision for adults suffering with depression and/or anxiety disorders (per person per year). Short breaks provide many local families with the support they need to stay happy and independent, saving the council huge amounts in the long run. I call on you to increase investment in local short breaks, so that respite is available for all those who need it. To support this, I also recommend greater publicity of local short breaks services, including a clear explanation of local eligibility criteria.