Children in care reduced in Gloucestershire
Figures have revealed the amount of children in their late teens being cared for in the county.
A Freedom of Information request to Gloucestershire County Council showed 164 children aged 15 to 19 were at in the care of authorities as of March 31 this year.
It costs the council around £841 on average per week to look after a child.
Some remain in homes, hostels, foster placements with relatives or cares, while others are living independently or at residential schools.
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The figures showed the average time a child remained in care was 1,104 days in comparison to 1,717 for the older teenagers.
But the council has targeted early intervention and seen the number of children in care in the county reduce by 31, while the number is going up nationally.
Councillor Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people and commissioning said: “Our priority is to keep families together, and we work closely with partners across education, health, police and youth services to offer specialist support to individual families to achieve this.
“However, it is sometimes safer for a child to be taken into care because of the risk of abuse or neglect, or they could be seeking asylum or needing to be looked after as a result of death of a family member.
“Each case is different and when a child is taken into care that decision is taken on an individual basis with work continuing to help get that family back together again.
“To make sure we are making the best decisions for families and children we recently independently assessed all children currently in our care to make sure they should be there. This revealed sadly they all do need to be.”
Earlier this year the authorities launched a project aimed at reducing the number of children going into care.
The £950,000 contract for Functional Family Therapy will provide intensive support to Gloucestershire’s most vulnerable families to improve their lives over the next three years.