Spiralling costs in child residential care have forced council bosses to adopt a radical new approach which will see traditional homes for troubled youngsters scrapped by 2018.

A £1.7 million shake-up of residential services in Perth and Kinross has been proposed to address a surge in the number of vulnerable children needing specialist care.

Council chiefs want to overhaul the way youngsters “on the edge of care” are looked after, placing greater focus on early intervention and prevention measures.

The new set-up, which will rely on foster families for accommodation, is based on a pioneering scheme launched in North Yorkshire – No Wrong Door – which has been dubbed “outstanding” by Ofsted.

It will be the first service of its kind in Scotland.

Councillors were told that change was needed to cope with increased budget pressures resulting from an annual 10% rise in the number of looked after children.

In the last three years, the council has overspent its residential care budget by £2.3 million, mainly by using out-of-area placements.


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