West Sussex children looked after aged under 18

This measure looks at the number of children who are looked after within Children Social Care in West Sussex. This means that some children are in foster placements and a few children are placed in residential care homes.

In order to know how well we are doing we measure ourselves against authorities in relation to the number of children in care per 10,000 population of children.

We aim to be in the top quartile of all Local Authorities by 2022. The measure includes children in foster placements and residential care homes
Further information about child protection plans and child protection conferences can be found on the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board website, which can be accessed by clicking on this link: http://www.westsussexscb.org.uk/

February 2020 performance

There is an increasing trend upwards and correlates with both the increasing number of children subject to child protection plans and children subject to care proceedings.
 Partnership work is being commenced with Hampshire to improve our approach to permanence planning to facilitate children being placed with permanent carers more quickly, included where the care plan is adoption and special guardianship. This will reduce the time children spend in the care of the local authority. Permanence panels are being established to track permanence planning and the timeliness of achieving permanence. The panels will commence in March 2020.
In comparison South East average is 53 and England average is 65.   

Actions

As identified in the Children First Practice Improvement Plan improvements are required in assessment and care planning to ensure children receive appropriate help and support. Actions include:-
  • Embed Signs of Safety to ensure a consistent practice model for all practitioners. Training of staff has commenced.  
  • Quality Assurance Framework updated with a collaborative approach to case file auditing to promote a learning culture to improve the quality of social work practice.