A new strategy setting out a commitment to young people leaving care will go before Suffolk County Council next week. 

Bobby Bennett was appointed as the cabinet member for children and young people's services earlier this year - following James Reeder's resignation after the damning special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) report published by Ofsted in January.

The watchdog urged Suffolk's SEND provision service it must improve after several years of failing to meet children's needs.

The Leaving Care Strategic Plan was established last year by Cllr Stephen Burroughes, deputy cabinet member for Children and Young Peoples Services, alongside the council's previous director, and senior officers in the service which discusses how the council would be aiming to help people leaving the council care between the ages of 16 and 25.

Cllr Bennett said: "Every child in care and care leaver should be listened to, cared for, feel safe, be healthy, receive the best education and have every opportunity to be independent and successful.

"As corporate parents, we need to always ask ourselves 'Is this good enough for my child?' and hold us, and each other, to this standard."

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Bennett was appointed in this position following Cllr Reeder's resignationCllr Bennett was appointed in this position following Cllr Reeder's resignation (Image: Suffolk County Council)


With the new plan by Cllr Bennett, the council will discuss the relationship that they have with those providing the care and the delivery of its quality. 

For Cllr Bennett, the key aim going forward is supporting care leavers and ensuring their voices are heard. 

"We need all our children to be cared for and cared about," she added.

"All care leavers are valued, and their achievements are celebrated.”

The county council has made six promises on this topic.

The local authority aims to help those leaving care with safety, education, physical and emotional health, and preparation for adulthood and employment.

A county council spokesperson said: "Suffolk County Council’s Leaving Care Strategy clearly sets out its commitment and ambition for children in Care and Care Leavers. The Leaving Care strategy is based on the principles of good corporate parenting and sets our pledge to remove some of the practical barriers that care leavers face as they progress into adulthood."

The plan will be in place till 2025, and the county council will discuss Cllr Bennett's proposal on Tuesday, April 23.