By Christian Barnett – Local Democracy Reporter

The county council has begun its review of children’s homes as it plans to close four homes to pay for preventative services.

Worcestershire County Council plans to change its approach to vulnerable children and emulate the work of Essex County Council – the council’s improvement partner – by reducing the number of children in care and keeping children at home whenever possible.

At a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Thursday, Cllr Andy Roberts, cabinet member for children, said the plans were a change to “prevention rather than cure” and would improve the outcomes and life chances of vulnerable children in the county. He said the council needs to act before the problems develop.

The county council said it is closing the homes to pay for services that would stop children going into care in the first place.

Six of the council’s 12 homes have been highlighted for possible closure with four definitely shutting.