Profit making and risk in independent children’s social care placement providers

This study examines the evidence that is available in relation to the financial performance of the largest independent sector children’s social care provider organisations operating in England.


We are increasingly concerned about the levels of debt and indicators of financial risk in some of the largest provider groups, as well as the lack of market oversight which means we have no clear understanding about how profit, consolidation and risk are affecting either the market or experiences of and outcomes for children in care.

To inform the national conversation around this issue, we have commissioned research on profit-making and financial risk in the biggest independent providers of placements for children in care. In this report reference to the independent sector includes both private companies and voluntary sector bodies.

We are calling on the Government to introduce oversight of groups of providers, and work with councils to support more in-house and smaller providers to ensure we have a diverse market that can provide the homes our children need.

May 2021

Read the May 2021 update report on profit making and risk in independent children’s social care placement providers.

December 2020

Read the December 2020 update report on profit making and risk in independent children’s social care placement providers.

January 2020

Read the full report on profit making and risk in independent children’s social care placement providers. The full list of appendices for this report is also available.