Children in Children’s Homes ‘Three Times More Likely to Run Away’, According to Report
June 18, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
Calls for the government to review children’s homes in England as report reveals high numbers go missing or run away.
Two parliamentary committees branded the state of the care system as “a scandal … going on pretty much unnoticed” as hundreds, if not thousands, of children were going missing from children’s homes each year in England. It sated that many children who have complex needs are placed in residential care that is poor quality and unsuitable. Almost half of all children in homes are placed outside their home local authority despite evidence this encourages them to run away.
The children’s minister, Tim Loughton, said the report went to the “heart of some serious weaknesses in the current system, which leave far too many of the most vulnerable children in society exposed to harm and danger”. He went on to state that the government had recently outlined plans to tackle child sexual exploitation.
With reliance on agency workers and “poor quality” placements in children’s homes, the lack of training for staff was highlighted. The report was also critical of the barriers which prevent police from knowing the location of children’s homes. It also called for a scorecard system to rate local authorities and a new organisation for reporting runaways from care.
By Sarah Leyland
[Image courtesy of Marco Nedermeijer]