Mark Whitehead 09 July 2019

Stop 'criminalisation' of children in care homes, council chiefs say

More must be done to stop the 'criminalisation' of children in care homes, according to local government leaders.

The Local Government Association (LGA) was responding to a report by the Howard League for Penal Reform highlighting how police have been called to some children’s homes hundreds of times a year.

The charity said its research showed that five police forces reported being called out more than 200 times to an individual children's home in their area.

Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA's children and young people board, said some calls to the police were because of genuine concerns, for example if a child goes missing.

But a £3.1bn funding gap for children's services means councils find it difficult to invest in the best and most appropriate support.

'As this report rightly shows, there is clearly more still to be done, and councils will continue to drive improvements with the support of the police, children's home providers and others to prevent more children in residential care being unnecessarily criminalised.'

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