Guidance for children in care

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has urged councils to scrutinise services for children in care, in a report that highlights the experiences of looked-after children.

Cases shared in the report include a young man left never knowing if he was deprived of the chance to say goodbye to his dying mother when he was younger, a teenager returning to her foster home to find her bags packed as she’d turned 18, and siblings removed without warning from the foster parents who wanted to adopt them.

The ombudsman’s report aims to promote best practice for local authorities and suggests questions that council scrutiny committees can ask to ensure their authorities are providing the best services they can to children in their care.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said councils “work extremely hard to ensure that all children in care get the love and support they need to flourish”, and the report would help councils continuously improve to achieve this goal.

She added: “Unfortunately, many councils are being pushed to the brink by unprecedented demand and increasing financial pressures, with an average of 87 children now taken into care every single day. There has been a 28 per cent increase in the number of children in care over the past decade, during which time councils lost £15 billion in core government funding.”

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