Responding to the Department for Education’s publication of data on children’s homes in England, Ellen Broome, Policy Director at The Children’s Society, said:
'We are delighted that the government has made this information public, and welcome Michael Gove’s strong commitment to improving the lives of these children.
'As shown by the parliamentary inquiry we supported last year many parts of the system are simply not working. Children are being placed miles from home into run-down areas, the quality of some care homes is unacceptable, and children who run away from care are not kept safe.
Abuse or neglect
'Children in care are extremely vulnerable. Most will have already suffered serious abuse or neglect at home. And people that want to exploit children are deliberately targeting children in care and children’s homes.
'So it is absolutely vital that councils provide them with a supportive and caring environment. For that to happen there needs to be proper oversight and scrutiny, and that hasn’t always been the case. Instead, all too often we hear from children that they are being treated as a ‘nuisance’ and ‘troublesome’ by those who are supposed to care for them.
'With councils spending more than £1 billion a year caring for these children, things need to improve now. A wall of silence is unacceptable; only with transparency, scrutiny and accountability will things gets better for these vulnerable children.'
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Notes to editors
- The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.