Issue details

Mobilisation of new Edge of Care approach for children and young people


To approve initial investment in a new approach to support children and young people that are on the edge of care (EOC), whether that be at risk of becoming a looked after child, or with the potential to safely cease being looked after and return home with the appropriate support.

Families that might need some help and support will often say that they don't want to be taken into safeguarding or care services. They would rather be able to cope better with the challenges they face with support from their extended family, friends, and community. While improvements have been made to Herefordshire's safeguarding system in recent years, the County's numbers of looked after children (LAC) has continued to be higher than comparator areas, which causes significant financial pressure for the council. Cabinet has recognised that the council can do more to support families to safely take care of their children. This is in conjunction with work that the council has already done to improve social care practice and expand the early help and family support services.


It is therefore intended to make an initial investment of up to £184k in 2019-2020 for the establishment of a new Edge of Care / Home (ECHo) service. Alongside existing approaches, ECHo will be a five to ten-year initiative. Further investment from 2020 onwards to be made through the council's medium-term financial strategy.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 02/12/2019

Decision due: 20 December 2019 by Cabinet member children and families

Lead member: Cabinet member children and families

Lead director: Director of Children and Families

Department: Children and Families

Contact: Richard Watson, Childrens joint commissioning manager Email: Tel: 01432 383047.