FOUR of the county's children's homes will be closing next year saving the council more than £1 million.

Worcestershire County Council said the plan to close the homes is so money can be spent on providing preventative services which stop children from going into care in the first place.

The county council said the closures will save around £1.1 million next year - with the money pumped back into its new Edge of Care service.

Old Hollow in Malvern closed at the end of October after its owners intended to sell the home and the council made no plans to replace services there.

The three-bed Orchardene care home in Pershore will close when its tenancy runs out at the end of March 2019.

Rivendell in Bromsgrove will close and Downsell Road in Redditch, which closed for refurbishment in August, will not re-open.

A home in Tenbury had already closed when the council was discussing the closures and a decision was made not to re-open it.

The council said the closures will currently impact 14 children and young people.

Cllr Roberts said: "Our main aim is to keep families together and improve the lives of our children and young people.

"This new and improved approach will help to prevent children from entering the care system where it is in their interests and we can support parents to care for their own children safely.

"We have a duty to protect children and young people and a duty to promote the upbringing of children in their family.

"We believe our new approach enables us to practice against these principals of social work practice."

Hill View in Malvern will remain open as a care home for 16 to 18-year-olds whose placements have broken down. Overnight short breaks at the six-bed residential home were stopped at Hill View in October.

Greenhill Lodge in Worcester and Vale Lodge in Evesham, which both provide long-term and short breaks for children with disabilities, will remain open as will Oak House in Worcester.

The plan to close some homes in Worcestershire was announced in October and the council's cabinet gave Cllr Roberts permission to have the final say.