A House of Commons briefing paper offers background to out of area placements for looked after children in England, and explains the concerns raised by child welfare bodies about these arrangements. It also outlines the government’s response to the concerns and its plans to implement various reforms.
The web page for the brief states that the number of looked after children placed outside their home local authority rose by an estimated 28% between 2010 and 2020, increasing from 37% of all placements to 41% over the period.
Additionally, the number of looked-after children living in unregulated accommodation rose by 89% between the end of March 2010 and the end of March 2020, from 3,430 to 6,480.
Stakeholders inside the child protection sector have raised the following concerns about these arrangements:
- Long distance placements can be traumatic for children
- Children living far away from home are at greater risk of going missing
- Children can feel isolated and often do not see loved ones often enough when placed long distances away from them