LGA responds to APPG inquiry into missing children

“Funding pressures alongside soaring demand for care are preventing councils from investing in the accommodation and support options at the level they need in order to provide the best and most appropriate help for all children and young people."


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Responding to an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults which considered the practice of children being placed in residential care out of area, Cllr Teresa Heritage, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
  
“The welfare of the children they care for is of the utmost importance to councils. Placing children outside of their home area is always a decision they take seriously and may be needed to give them a new beginning away from abuse or neglect; for their own safety; to break gang affiliation, or to place them near other family members or to access specialist services.

“However, increasing numbers of older children are coming into care. As they are more likely to need accommodation in children’s homes, this is placing significant pressure on places. Most children’s homes are now also privately owned and concentrated in areas where accommodation is cheapest. Together, this can mean that councils are forced to place children out of area or in placements that are not best suited to a child’s needs.

“Funding pressures alongside soaring demand for care are preventing councils from investing in the accommodation and support options at the level they need in order to provide the best and most appropriate help for all children and young people. 

“It is vital that the Government works with councils to understand these pressures and provides appropriate funding to ensure the right homes are available for all children, whatever their needs.”