A DRIVE to keep children out of care in Essex has been boosted by £3million funding.

The Essex Social Impact Bond will pay for a five-year programme which will provide intensive support to about 380, 11 to 16-year-olds and their families.

Its aims is to stop about 100 children from entering care.

The money, provided by Essex County Council, will be put towards school intervention, reducing reoffending and providing relationship support to families, to help them manage their children.

Peter Martin, leader of Essex County Council, said: “I am proud Essex has had the vision to progress with a new social care model to deliver improved services and support for our most vulnerable young people. “Essex has always strived to be innovative and forward thinking and it is this attitude that has allowed us to explore social investment.”

The scheme will come into force in April next year.