The Children’s Commissioner has warned that social care is “in crisis” after new figures showed the number of children in care has reached a ten-year high.
Some 78,150 children were in care in England on 31 March 2019, according to data collected by the Local Government Association.
It said it means there has been a 28 percent increase compared to the 60,900 children in care a decade ago.
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said, “The care system is in crisis, struggling to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children.
“The system has been too slow to respond to the changing nature of demand, particularly for older children which means we now have a chronic shortage of decent places for our most vulnerable children to live.”
She warned that many children were “living in sub-standard accommodation and at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation”.
Longfield also said many older children in particular were being placed in areas they do not know, being unsettled by often moving home and changing social worker. This can affect their performance at school.
Care services have been pushed past breaking point by a Tory cuts to local government.
It will require a fight by unions and campaigners to get the funding they need.