William Eichler 22 June 2022

Over a thousand children in care moved every week

Over a thousand children in care moved every week image
Image: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com.

Local authority leaders have called for an overhaul of children’s social care as a new report reveals that more than a thousand children in care are being moved on from their placement every week.

Published by charity Coram Voice and The Rees Centre at University of Oxford, the new study found that over the last four years children’s care placements have changed nearly a quarter of a million times.

The research, which analysed almost 10,000 responses of children in care in England over the last five years, also found that two in three young people moved were in care because of abuse or neglect.

The lack of stability leaves children in care feeling unsafe, the researchers found. They also learnt that being moved regularly undermined the children’s trust in social workers.

Coram Voice and The Rees Centre at University of Oxford’s report has been published a month after the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care called for a reset of the system.

It also coincides with a protest by more than 100 young people with experience of care at Parliament today calling for reform. The ‘It’s Our Care’ Day of Action is supported by Action for Children, Barnardo’s, Become, Coram Voice, National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC and The Children’s Society.

Brigid Robinson, managing director of Coram Voice, said: ‘Every child and young person deserves to feel safe and settled where they live, and as our research shows, this is crucial to their wellbeing and relationships. Far too often we hear from children and young people being moved from place to place, denied a say about where they want to live, and left unable to trust the adults responsible for their care.

‘Today’s Our Care Day of Action is a vital opportunity to put young people’s voices at the heart of care reform, and hear first-hand what needs to change to ensure care works for all the children and young people who need it. We call for the investment and urgent action needed to make this change happen, so that every child and young person can be supported to thrive in life.’

Responding to the publication of the research, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Children and Young People Board, said: ‘These concerning findings underline the urgency for reforming children’s social care and for government to work with councils and move quickly to address the issues raised in the recent independent review, in particular workforce shortages and a lack of suitable homes for children in care.

‘Reform and investment go hand in hand – one will not be effective without the other. This is why we’re calling for a White Paper within the next six months to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to reform, and truly transformational investment by the Treasury in the services that give all children the best start in life.’

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