12 Mar 2014

MPs have backed calls from The Children’s Society for wide-ranging reform of the children’s care system. 

A report from the Education Select Committee published on Wednesday 12 March will welcome government proposals for changes to children’s care homes, but echoed calls from The Children’s Society that reform must be comprehensive and not piecemeal. 

Iryna Pona, Policy Advisor at The Children’s Society, who gave evidence to the Committee, said:

A step forward

'The changes announced by the government – including making it harder for councils to place children in unsuitable and dangerous areas miles away from home – are a significant step forward and we look forward to working with councils to implement them. 

'But they need to be part of a more comprehensive, wider-ranging reform. Care homes should be the right choice for the right children, not the option of last resort. 

'This reform needs to take in everything from how placement decisions are made and quality of care, right through to helping children leaving care.  

Listen to children

'If the needs of the child are not taken into account and we don’t listen to their views and wishes, we’ll continue to see placements repeatedly breakdown. In the end that is damaging to children and very expensive.'

The charity also welcomed the Committee’s call on the government to ensure better oversight and inspection of whether councils are following government guidance. 

A Children’s Society report recently found councils were failing to follow guidance on safeguarding children missing from care.

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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.