Five Birmingham City Council children’s homes are set to close as more youngsters are moved out of residential care and placed with foster families or adopted.
Homes affected are at Chamberlain Road, Billesley; Fountain Road, Harborne; Kings Lodge, Kingstanding; South Acre, Dudley; and Viscount House, Castle Vale.
The move will leave the city council with 12 homes. Children’s services bosses hope, ultimately, to close even more.
They say kids fare better in a family environment and are pushing to increase the number of foster carers.
Coun Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said: “For the vast majority of looked-after children, it is far better they grow up in a settled family environment as this improves their life chances, both emotionally and in terms of educational achievement.
However, there will be a small number whose needs are better suited to residential care and we will be concentrating our resources in fewer children’s homes in order to focus on the needs of these young people.”
Ofsted ratings were one of the criteria used to select the five centres, a council spokesman said. Their proposed closure will save an estimated £3 million a year.
It costs approximately £2,500 a week to keep a child in residential care. It is £499 for a youngster to be fostered.
Birmingham City Council has announced that it wants 900 foster families on its books. It currently has just under 600.
The council spokeswoman added: “We are looking to improve the skills of current and new carers to ensure we have a greater number who can manage our challenging young people.”