£15m to expand children’s care in Wales

The Welsh Government will invest £15 million next year to help safely reduce the need for children to enter care and to further support children in care.

Minister for Children Huw Irranca-Davies said that the funding is part of an additional £30 million which has been allocated to Regional Partnership Boards to help strengthen integrated working, and will help expand preventative and early intervention services.

As at March 2017, there were 5,954 children in care in Wales, and increase of five per cent on the previous year. Last year, the Welsh Government invested £9 million to support care experienced children, including £5 million investment in local authority edge of care services meant that local authorities helped over 3,600 children to remain within the family unit by working with more than 2,000 families.

Irranca-Davies said: “As part of our programme for government, Taking Wales Forward, we set out a clear commitment to examine ways of ensuring looked after children enjoy the same life chances as other children and if necessary reform the way they are looked after. Our national strategy, Prosperity for All also describes our priorities around supporting children and families at the edge of care and young people in care, particularly as they transition towards adulthood.

“So I’m delighted to confirm we will invest £15 million next year to progress our shared ambition that by intervening with support early we reduce the need for children to enter care and supporting children in care. I expect local authorities, third sector organisations and health boards to work in partnership to use this fund flexibly and creatively across their regions. It is essential for successful delivery and want to thank them for them for their co-operation and contribution so far.”