Children in need of care in London are being sent 450 miles away due to lack of care home capacity in England. Severe care home shortages across England are forcing vulnerable children to be sent away for specialist care.
Barnardo's Chief Executive Lynn Perry MBE said:
“We are saddened by reports of children in care being placed far from their communities, due to lack of care home capacity in England. There are more children in the care system than ever before, and whilst 70% are living with foster families, reduced funding means local authorities are struggling to find specialist residential places for those children who need this type of care.
“This is resulting in some children being placed in residential care miles away from their home. Currently, over one in three children in England in residential care are placed at least 20 miles from their home base. This can also mean splitting up siblings who should stay together. 13% of all siblings currently in care in England are placed separately, contrary to their care plan.
“Removal from their home base cuts children off from friends and family, resulting in them often feeling lonely and isolated. The number one priority must be finding the right place for these children to live where their needs are met, they get crucial love and support, they are kept safe, and they have the right help to recover from their past experiences.
“The Government’s upcoming Strategy in response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care must address this issue. This includes more support for families so that children do not need to come into care, a focus on recruiting more foster carers, and sufficient capital funding so there are the residential care places available for children who need them. The Government must make enough investment available to make this a reality.”
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