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28th September 2011

Don't let cuts 'drive down quality of residential childcare' call

THE chairman of CFW's Residential Childcare Special Interest Forum has said that providers need to work even harder to promote quality placements for children in the face of cuts to social services budgets.

Steve Elliott, who chairs the special interest group, said: "We're facing a big challenge in the provision of placements for children who need residential care as local authorities try to drive down the cost of placements.

"The challenge for the sector is that we must continue to ensure placements are based on children's needs," he said. "We must continue to set targets for the best possible outcomes.

"As a group we have an important role to play in this and we must make sure our voice is heard in these difficult times," added Mr Elliott.

The residential childcare workforce in Wales, including managers, is estimated at around 2,200, compared with around 70,000 who work in the broader social care sector. Yet the number of children needing residential and specialist childcare is on the increase as recession impacts on already struggling families.

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