All Birmingham children should be brought up in a stable and safe environment. Ideally this should be in a family or family-like situation. For the small numbers for whom this is not possible, either in the short or in the longer term it seems reasonable to provide facilities to support and care for them. Of course, the history of such provision in Birmingham is a vexed and emotive subject, all the more reason why the provision should be adequately resourced.
I do wonder why Birmingham is maintaining resources outside Birmingham. I am not aware of the reasons for BCC running facilities in Dudley and I wonder why their continued operation is not secured by Dudley Council.
The cost of £3 million – what impact will that really have on the Budget? Set against the jobs lost with the direct and indirect, financial, social and human costs that will entail, set against the costs of failing the most vulnerable.
The homes are Chamberlain Road in Billesley, Fountain Road in Harborne, Kings Lodge in Oscott and South Acre and Viscount House, which are both in Dudley. GMB say their closure will cost 170 jobs, and the council expect to save £3m.
However, the last time they closed children’s homes it ended up costing 41% more with some of the most vulnerable people in Birmingham being sent to care homes hundreds of miles away from their city.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Coun Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said:
For the vast majority of looked-after children, it is far better they grow up in a settled family environment as this improves their life chances, both emotionally and in terms…
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