Includem’s support for a central Scotland local authority has helped the local authority achieve savings of more than £350,000 over the past year.

The authority has devised a five-year strategy that aims to deliver better outcomes for children and young people on the edges of care.

They aim to safely reduce the number of children looked after away from home and includem has been working with 10 young people over the past year to try and help them achieve this goal.

The team has worked with the local authority to support young people moving from high-cost placements to local community-based care placements and to increase support to young people living at home.

Its Intensive Support Service is based on the assessed needs of the young person and provides responsive, accessible, high-quality intervention and supports positive transitions from residential placements to alternative accommodation closer to home.

The £350,000 figure is a total of £129,828 in direct savings and £227,367 in costs avoided. The savings identified are based solely on care placement costs, it is likely there will be other substantial savings related to young people being supported to return to or remain in their own communities.

It currently costs around £3000 a week to house an individual in secure accommodation and around £2000 a week to house a young person in residential accommodation.