Councillors to discuss extra spending on Southend social care

An extra £3.6m is set to be spent on Southend children’s and adult social care in 2021/22.

The proposals will be discussed as part of the council’s draft budget for cabinet on Thursday January 14.

Spending proposals in summary include:

  • £1.5m to support adult social care providers, improving the pay and conditions of the workforce and improving the quality of local care
  • £480,000 to meet the care needs of an ageing local population
  • £350,000 for supporting those with a learning disability to move from children’s to adult services
  • £590,000 to support an increase in numbers of looked after children requiring external care placements.
  • £500,000 for leaving care accommodation and to support those aged 16 and over due to an increase in looked after children numbers
  • £210,000 will be added to the budget for children and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) service due to a reduction in funding from the dedicated schools grant (DSG)
  • £150,000 to help drive recruitment of in-house foster carers, increase the quality of the inhouse foster care offer and therefore reduce long term demand for external care placements.
  • £50,000 to support Special Guardianship Orders (SGO) that have been made by the courts in favour of kinship carers.  When a looked after child that is placed with a kinship carer (normally relative or family friend) and an SGO is made, the local authority is statutorily required to provide financial assistance for a transitional period of 2 years to support the Special Guardianship carers. This new investment will enable up to 25 child cases to be supported each year.
  • £25,000 To fund school uniform grants for eligible children under exceptional circumstances

Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, says: “There continues to be an increase on the demand for the most vulnerable and I am pleased that we are proposing to allocate this extra funding to provide the best services we can in these areas. 

“With the increase of young people being taken into care we need to ensure that there is financial support to cover the cost of the extra placements, ensure that the local quality of care is always improving and make sure we can continue to look after the most vulnerable in our community.

“I am also particularly pleased to see the proposed reintroduction of the school uniform grant which will be available to families in exceptional circumstances and will help those most in need, such as those who have been supported to get temporary accommodation and have had to move school as a result.”

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, says: “I am delighted that we are able to propose this extra investment to provide much needed support in adult social care.

“This will help to meet the increasing demand on social care services and an ageing population, allowing our residents to remain in their own homes with a domiciliary care package if they are able for example, and for those who have greater care need to be accommodated in suitable residential care.”

The draft budget will be considered by the council’s cabinet on Thursday January 14, the council’s three scrutiny committees at the start of February, with the final budget to be discussed and approved at full council on Thursday February 25.


Mick Ferris

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