Labour Motion for improved and cost effective new measures to prevent children and young people going in to care was passed at last week’s session of Full Council.
The County Council Labour Group today brought forward a motion calling for the implementation of a new ‘Short Breaks’ programme and genuine partnership with local third -sector organisations to help families stay together and reduce the need for children and young people to enter the care system.
The Motion comes weeks after Suffolk County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services (CYP) estimated an overspend of around £8million this financial year – to a large extent due to the spiralling numbers of children and young people going in to care, which increased to 790 as of March 2016.
Labour Spokesperson for Children & Young People, Helen Armitage, said “One of the key reasons why the County is currently experiencing a crisis in the number of young people going in to care is that the Council has very few preventative measures for children and young people that exist on the ‘edge of care’. This is why I put forward this Motion proposing a new plan for a ‘Short Breaks’ programme – a programme proven to prevent children from going in to full time care, saving millions of pounds in associated costs in the process.”
Cllr Armitage continued “The original Motion also called on the Council to work more closely with third-sector partners, such as ICENI in Ipswich, who can provide families with intensive help to stay together and avoid the care system. The Conservative amendment speaks of continuing their work with the voluntary sector, but we still think they should improve their commitment to Iceni in particular and to other groups as well.”
Cllr Armitage concluded “There is no quick fix for something as complicated and difficult as this. Nonetheless, I’m glad that other County Councillors agree that this issue is too important for party politics and that this Motion has been successfully passed.”