Welsh councils look to pool services

Local authorities in south Wales are to develop a regional approach to direct payments, fostering services and residential care for looked-after children.

The South East Wales Improvement Collaborative, which involves 10 councils will initially work on six projects. Each will be led by a director from one of the 10 councils, while council chief executives will sit on a partnership board.

One of the projects will develop an independent foster agency for the M4 corridor in Wales, while others will pilot a system for finding foster carers and residential places for children in care, and for improving the take-up of direct payments.

The councils will also team up to draft policy on new government legislation and pool specialist legal support for children’s services.

The collaborative was developed following a meeting a year ago between social services leaders and Welsh assembly government officials, where it was decided that more cross-authority working was needed.

Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Newport and Rhondda Cynon Taf are among the authorities involved.

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