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Agenda item

Fostering Annual Report - Report of Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence


The Panel considered a report of the Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence which provided a summary of activity within Durham County Council’s fostering service, analysing performance over the past year and setting out priorities for the year ahead.  The Fostering Annual Report and the Foster Carers’ Training Programme were appended to the report as appendix 2 and 3 respectively (for copy of report see file of minutes).


The Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence highlighted that, despite the pressures on fostering placements due to the increasing number of looked after children, 84% of the looked after population are placed in foster care.  The Strategic Manager further explained that the rate of increase of independent fostering placements has not increased at the same rate as the overall looked after children numbers which demonstrates that the service is meeting needs through in-house placements.


Following the restructure of the service and the development of the new Placements Team, the focus on matching young people to the right placements has increased enabling the service to horizon-plan to ensure the right types of placements are available.  Further information will be brought to the September Corporate Parenting Panel meeting with a presentation on the Sufficiency Strategy.   


Referring to strategic priorities for the future, the Strategic Manager for Looked After Children and Permanence explained that there is a commitment to continue the recruitment and retention of foster carers through initiatives such as the Fostering Digital Roadshow.  Placement Stability is another key priority with staff being trained in early permanence and planning, with a specific emphasis on the child’s perspective.


The Chair thanked Cllr McKeon for her valuable contribution to the promotion of the Digital Roadshow.




That the annual report be received.


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714