Strategy extended to support children in care in Stoke-on-Trent
A strategy which focuses on ensuring that children and young people who come into care go on to have secure, stable and loving homes that support them through childhood and beyond has been approved by Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet members today (15 June).
The “Permanency Strategy 2021-2013’ sets out how the council will ensure that a permanence philosophy is embedded into practice, and where children and young people are at the centre of the planning process.
The councils approach to working with children, young people and their families is based on the belief that every child and young person has the right to a permanent and stable home, primarily and preferably within their own family of origin. They are committed to do all they can to prevent family breakdown and keep families together and where this is not possible children in care will live with nurturing and supportive families.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Permanency Strategy was initially launched in 2020 and since then the council has invested heavily in social care services with an extensive transformation project ongoing. A dedicated social worker recruitment strategy inspiring individuals to step up and join the council help ‘Shape Stoke‑on‑Trent’s Future’ has been implemented and 79 new social workers, with a range of experience have been recruited and will be in post by September. Better training opportunities for staff and providers have been provided inclusive of a restorative approach. Work has been done to improve the support for foster carers and the voices and experiences of children are being focused on more in decision-making. These measures introduced all help to achieve emotional, physical and legal permanence for children and families.
Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Children and young people are our number one priority. We have a vision for every child and young person to thrive and be the most that they can be and we are committed to providing the best opportunities for them. As a corporate parent we want our children in care to achieve a sense of security and belonging and this strategy helps us do that. We want fewer children in care and more in loving and supported homes.
“Over the past year we have worked hard to not only support vulnerable children in the right way, but to drive forward the transformation and improvements to our children’s services. We only want the best for children and families in Stoke-on-Trent and will continue to do everything we can to make the progress that is required for the good of children and young people in this city.”