National Assembly for Wales - Public Accounts Committee

Looked After Children – Future Committee Inquiry

The Public Accounts Committee is responsible for carrying out the functions set out in Standing Orders 18.2 and 18.3 and consider any other matter that relates to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which resources are employed in the discharge of public functions in Wales. Whilst these responsibilities are narrowly defined the Committee is able to consider a wide range of issues within this remit.


The Committee have agreed to undertake an inquiry into Looked After Children as there a number of significant concerns in relation to the value for money and effectiveness of arrangements in this area, and as such we are intending to take a systemic view of this area. 

The Committee has initially identified four areas which it will consider over the course of this Assembly, which are outlined below.

1.    Value for money of public spending on looked after children

The Committee intends to consider:

§    The overall cost to and value for money of the range public services aimed at improving outcomes for Looked After Children;

§    Whether the Welsh Government’s desired outcomes for Looked After Children are being  delivered by the current levels of public expenditure;

§    Whether the extent of spending specific to Looked After Children is sufficiently transparent across the range of public services

§    Whether public bodies have placed sufficient emphasis on a long term preventative spend approach, in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, to maximise the benefits of public expenditure for this group of children.



2.   Educational attainment

The Committee intends to consider:

The arrangements for and value for money of the Pupil Deprivation Grant for Looked after Children, paid to regional consortia at a rate of £1,150 per Looked after Child calculated to live in their area

3.   Foster placements

The Committee intends to consider:

The value for money and effectiveness of current arrangements for foster placements.

4.   Local authority corporate parenting arrangements

The Committee intends to consider:

The effectiveness of local authority corporate parenting arrangements.

We would welcome the views of stakeholders on the areas identified are the right areas and whether there are any additional areas which would benefit from the Public Accounts Committee considering over the long term. Responses to be received by 12 May 2017.

Once the Committee begins to undertake this work, we will issue consultation documents for each phase of the inquiry.