Children looked after with 3 or more placements within a year.

This measure looks at how many changes of placements happen for each child who is looked after in West Sussex during the year.
Children needs stable placements in order to maintain healthy relationships and achieve at school. Sometimes it is necessary to move placement to better meet their needs but achieving a permanent placement is the goal for all our children who are looked after.
We aim to achieve top quartile of statistical neighbours by 2022.

May 2020 performance

Practice guidance to follow the completed disruption policy is being completed by the end of June which will then inform the development of training.
 The Placement Finding Team has moved to the Commissioning service to ensure there is appropriate and consistent challenge and expectations of carers and provider services to reduce disruption.
 The ‘Access to Resources’ panel going forward will review children considered at risk of disruption or where notice is given to establish if additional/ creative support packages can be put in place to re-stabilise placements.
Our 2019-20 milestone target is 10.5% 
Our performance remains in line with both our local and national data.
This number has stabilised following a COVID 19 related rise as carers were declining to continue placements with children not complying with social distancing and some carers in vulnerable groups were unable to continue placements

Actions

The placement disruption policy has now been completed and signed off and disruption meetings will take place in response to placement endings to inform future learning and trends, practice guidance a training package also needs to be implemented around this (May/ June 2020)
New Service Lead for Children Looked After to implement placement stability meetings for children identified as at risk of placement disruption to prevent this happening.
 Where unplanned placement changes occur meetings (focusing on disruption) will be held to establish future learning.
 Service Lead to establish process for data collection on reasons why placements have disrupted to identify learning/ training needs to enable a service wide awareness of any trends.
Ofsted identified a number of systemic and practice issues which need to be addressed and which will help us meet our target. The Practice Improvement Plan identified a need to secure permanence at an earlier stage and ensure children are placed in suitable arrangements.   This will introduce disruption and stability meetings to oversee placements of children. 
We ensure that our foster carers are supported and we are getting our matching process right. This can be challenging with a shortage of foster placements and a competitive independent market. Our own success on increased staying put arrangements has meant less foster placements available for other children.