Efforts to ensure Dundee’s most vulnerable children are given the best start in life are reaping rewards, a new report has found.
Dundee City Council’s “corporate parenting” plan has seen the city’s at-risk children do better in school and experience less upheaval in their day-to-day lives than in the past.
The total number of looked-after children in Dundee has fallen from 555 two years ago to 498 – largely attributed to efforts by social workers to prevent children from having to enter care.
Youngsters are also more likely to remain in a single home for longer at a time now than four years ago – and exclusions from schools are down two-thirds in the last three years.
Glyn Lloyd, acting head of Dundee’s children’s and community justice services, has hailed the “really positive” efforts of the city’s education and social workers.
He said: “Children are attaining more at school and they’re moving into positive destinations more. It is all very positive but we know we’ve got more to do.”
Council chiefs launched a plan in 2017 in line with new legislation requiring them to step up their efforts in looking after those who have not grown up in stable homes.
Scottish education bosses aim to give care-experienced children the same chances to succeed as others, with those who have been “looked after” by the council now able to stay in care up to the age of 21.
Mr Lloyd added: “We’ve gone over the last six years from about 700 children to 498 – it’s about early involvement and support. Whether that’s through health visitors, teachers or third sector partners, we’re working with them to increase their confidence and capacity to address problems.”
Councillor Roisin Smith, depute children and family services convener, added: “I feel really positive about where we’re going – and long may it continue.”