DCSF unveils £3.8m plan to help challenging looked-after children

Junior children’s minister Kevin Brennan has announced a £3.8m pilot project to help young looked-after children with antisocial and challenging behaviour.

Eight local authorities in England will receive funding to test a new way of helping seven to 11-year-old looked-after children who have not been able to settle at any one placement. Multi-agency teams will be set up to tackle their complex needs.

The pilots follow a  model of care – multidimensional treatment foster care – which brings together health and social care professionals to encourage children to follow positive activities and break contact with disruptive influences. The model was developed in the US at the Oregon Social Learning Center. It has been hailed as a cost-effective way of reducing the number of looked-after-children who need very high-cost placements and has already been tested in the UK

Brennan said: “Evidence shows that many young children who enter care are already showing signs of developmental delay, behavioural difficulties and are at great risk of long term poor outcomes. We must intervene early and put all the support they need in place.”

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