Ofsted has announced plans to share the details of children’s homes with the Police and other bodies in order to improve child protection.
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson has published consultation proposals which would allow Ofsted to share details of children’s homes with the Police, the Department for Education and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
The Minister outlined the plans:
“There’s a clear need for the Police, local authorities and Ofsted to work in a different, ‘smarter’ way to tackle the ever changing challenge of protecting our most vulnerable children.”
“Local Police forces have argued for many years that in order to best serve and protect these children they need to know where they live. Our proposals simply reflect a common sense approach.”
Ofsted currently shares the names and addresses of children’s homes with local authorities, but existing rules forbid the inspectorate from sharing this information with the Police.
The Department for Education believes that there will be real benefits to Ofsted and the Police exchanging information.
According to the Department, this would allow local forces to:
- Work more proactively to protect the welfare of children living in children’s homes in their area;
- Prevent offenders targeting children living in children’s homes;
- Help Police to protect children missing from care from harm.
The Association of Chief Police Officers has registered its approval of the plans. Deputy Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said:
“This will ensure more effective and efficient safeguarding measures can be put in place for responding to incidents involving children’s homes.”