Swansea to spend additional £ 6.4 million for children & family services

SAVINGS from the proposed closure of two ageing children’s homes in Swansea will be ploughed back into improving services to vulnerable young people, Cabinet has agreed.

Cabinet on Thursday agreed to the closure of Ty Gwaun and Ty Cwm in Cockett, which are no longer believed to be fit for purpose.

The proposal has already been accepted as rational by the Council’s cross-party Child and Family Services Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Nick Tregoning, Cabinet Member for Social Services, said that the proposal to close the two homes was a crucial part of the improvements planned for Child and Family Services.

He said: “Protecting vulnerable children is a top priority for Swansea Council. It is spending an extra £6.4m in the current financial year to improve Child and Family services.

“The independent Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales believes these two homes are no longer fit for purpose. The savings generated by their closure will help our improvement agenda.”

Swansea has a purpose-built residential children’s home at Blaenymaes.

Cllr Tregoning said: “The money will be re-directed to help put in place a system which will mean social workers will be able to intervene appropriately to support families at risk of breaking up. When it’s the right move to make and is done quickly it will mean that, over time, fewer children will need to come into the care system.

“The move to close the two homes will also free-up funds to provide more financial support to Foster Swansea and increase the number of staff on the Council’s adoption team.”

Cllr Mark Child, Chair of the Council’s Child & Family Overview and Scrutiny Board, said: “The closures at Cockett are integral to the overall plans to improve services but I want to see that the excellent staff are well deployed in future and that the young people who have lived in Cockett are able to retain the valuable relationships they built with staff.

“It’s also vital that the proposed alternatives to residential care are established as soon as possible to ensure there is no gap in provision.”