Socialist Worker

Council care fails children

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2618

Children are being failed

The research reveals the depth of crisis in local authority care (Pic: U.S. Air Force)


Children looked after by local authorities are facing a “silent crisis”, new research by the Social Market Foundation thinktank indicates.

Some 65 percent of looked after children are in the care of a local authority that falls short of a good standard.

And of those children 13,790 are receiving care services that are “inadequate”—the lowest ranking.

The findings are a result of data analysis from Ofsted that looked at English councils’ services for children in need of help and protection, looked after children and care leavers.

Experience

Better care is urgently needed for children, as they are already more likely to experience lifelong social and economic problems.

For instance, about 25 percent of the adult prison population had previously been in care—despite only 1 percent of children being looked after.

But instead of improving services, the Tories’ attacks on local authorities means that children looked after by councils are bearing the brunt of austerity and cutbacks.

Matthew Oakley, a senior researcher at SMF, said the report shows “these children desperately need the people who are supposed to lead this country to pay more attention and commit to improving children’s services.

“We all then have a duty to hold politicians to account to ensure that the support and outcomes for these vulnerable children are improved.”


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