Steps are being taken to stop private companies cashing in on vulnerable children.
A report which sets out a clear set of guidelines for providing residential placements for young people in care, will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet next week.
Plymouth, like most local authorities, is subject to the national trend of decreasing budgets and rising social care costs.
By working with neighbouring local authorities as part of the Peninsula Children’s Services Partnership, Plymouth aims to work more closely with local providers.
Over the next four years, providers who offer good care for a reasonable price will be prioritised over those who seek to profit from working with children in care.
Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “Enough is enough. It is unacceptable for the private sector to continue to exploit children and the tax payer for their own gains.
“We need to avoid a race to the bottom – and pay a price for care that means that well trained and supported staff are paid a reasonable wage for caring for our vulnerable children properly.
“Good quality placements can be expensive, but the new contract will help us to better manage the providers.”
Residential children’s homes are used for the Council’s most vulnerable children and young people in care, who struggle to manage in a foster placement or supported lodgings, but can thrive in the care of a well-trained and supportive team of residential staff.
Modern children’s homes try to be as close to a family home as possible, so that children don’t live in institutional placements which can’t meet their emotional and physical needs.
The new agreement will try to ensure that children who are new to residential placements are kept as local as is possible to ensure that the same friendships and schools remain a constant in the young person’s life.