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 groups, as well as the lack of market oversight which means we have no clear understanding about how profit, consolidation and risk are affecting the market and outcomes for children in care.

This study examines 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 placements that meet the needs of our children.

The report was commissioned by the Local Government Association in November 2019.

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.