Welcome to another, slightly shorter, week.
A politician has accused the government of failing to prevent children in care from being placed huge distances away from their natural homes. The government promised to halt the practice in 2012 after it emerged that the policy was putting vulnerable children in danger of being exploited.
Labour MP Ann Coffey has said that she will use a Commons debate to say a “sent-away generation” is at risk of falling prey to paedophiles and drugs gangs.
The government’s duty of care towards looked after children has become an important topic in the last few years. A steady rise in cases against the state, which has led to children who have been abused in state and foster care suing successfully for harm they suffered whilst placed in those homes, means that the government is much less able to deny its legal obligations in relation to these children. A recent case which confirmed that foster children can now sue councils for abuse they suffered whilst in their care makes those obligations all the more obvious.
The sheer scale of non recent and recent abuse has also left the government reeling, and looking to find ways to stem payouts, such as offering restitution schemes with financial caps on the compensation offered and using the courts – which should never be politically connected – to limit instances in which claims can be made.
Our question this week, then, is just this: do you think the government’s duty of care to looked after children extends to placement policies which could lead to child exploitation and abuse?