New Children's Services Strategy for 2023-26.


Cardiff Council have developed a new strategy setting out its vision and direction for the delivery of Children’s services over the next three years.

The Striving for Excellence in Children’s Services Strategy will help to ensure that Cardiff Council can manage and respond to the growing levels of demand for services, meet the needs of children who require care and support, and continue to make sure that Cardiff’s children and young people are safeguarded.

The Local Authority’s Cabinet has agreed the strategy which identifies a number of priority issues relating to children and young people;


-       a significant increase in the number of children and young people experiencing serious emotional wellbeing and mental health issues.

-       a significant increase in the number of children and young people at risk of exploitation

-       a significant increase in the number of children and young people who have a range of additional needs.


This is in addition to other challenges being experienced such as significant budget pressures, market sufficiency issues, and difficulty recruiting and retaining experienced social workers.

The strategic plan will set out how Children’s Services will work with partners to address these issues, using a preventative, early & low level intervention approach known as “shifting the balance of care ”.

Three key areas of focus include;

-       Place – ensuring that children remain at home with their family where it is safe and appropriate to do so

-       People – recruiting a permanent workforce and reducing our reliance on agency social workers

-       Practice - developing our practice to ensure it is strength based, trauma informed, restorative, research led and family focused

Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Services, Cllr Ash Lister said: “Making sure that Cardiff’s children and young people are safe and can achieve their very best here in Cardiff – a Child Friendly City, is something that we can all play a part in.

“Children’s Services is already a very busy and stretched service but in recent years, the service area has experienced added pressures and the impact of the pandemic is still being seen, meaning more and more children and young people have complex needs and are living in challenging circumstances.

“The refreshed strategy reflects on all aspects of the services we offer, in an honest way, highlighting our progress but also where we have further to go and outlines just how we will work across the council and with partners to achieve our aims.

“We would like to thank all staff across our services for their dedication, passion and commitment to doing all they can so that children and young people can lead happy, healthy, safe lives”

The Children’s Services strategy supports delivery of other key strategies such as the Workforce Strategy, Accommodation Strategy and Commissioning Strategy in addition to the Corporate Parenting Strategy, Trauma Informed Strategy, Strategy for Children with Disabilities and Additional Learning Needs and Youth Justice Strategies.

It also reinforces Cardiff's Child Friendly City Strategy which places the rights of children and young people at the heart of its policies and decision making.

The Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee looked at the report at a public meeting on January 16th 2023.  The committee tested proposals to understand their rationale and evidence base, the Council’s requirements and anticipated outcomes, and the next steps.

Scrutiny’s published papers on the report are available to view here Agenda for Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee on Monday, 16th January, 2023, 5.00 pm : Cardiff Council (

*The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) is the procedure prescribed in law when it is necessary to deprive of their liberty a resident or patient who lacks capacity to consent to their care and treatment in order to keep them safe from harm.