LGA responds to reports into state of children’s social care provision

“A varied market for homes for children in care can help councils to make sure children get the right homes for their needs, but fewer and fewer providers are now dominating that market.


Photo of children looking over a metal fence into a field

 As our research earlier this year highlighted, much growth is fuelled by enormous loans, and councils have increasing concerns about the financial stability of many providers.

Responding to reports by the Children’s Commissioner into the state of children’s social care provision in England, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“While the majority of children’s homes are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, councils have long been highlighting that we need more good quality provision, especially for children whose needs are more complex. A lack of such homes is helping to drive an increase in the use of unregulated accommodation.

“A varied market for homes for children in care can help councils to make sure children get the right homes for their needs, but fewer and fewer providers are now dominating that market. As our research earlier this year highlighted, much growth is fuelled by enormous loans, and councils have increasing concerns about the financial stability of many providers.

“We cannot risk a Southern Cross or Four Seasons situation in children’s social care. Stability for children in care is paramount if we are to help them to thrive and an oversight scheme is needed to help catch providers before they fall, and ensure company changes don’t risk the quality of provision.

“The Government’s promised review of the children’s care system needs to be carried out as soon as possible and look at how the market for children’s social care placements is impacting on children’s outcomes. Providers should also not be making excessive profit from providing placements for children. What matters most is that children feel safe, loved and supported, in placements that best suit their needs and help them to live the lives they deserve.”