Close to 60 per cent of children in care are placed in residential accommodation outside their home areas, Ofsted reports.
No less than 57 per cent of all children in residential care across England and Wales in March last year – 3,468 in total – were placed by their local authorities in other regions, the statistics state. The figure represents a jump of more than 46 per cent over the previous year: in March 2013, just 2,249 children were placed in residential accommodation outside their home areas.
There were 6,085 children living in residential homes in March last year, and only 2,617 of those lived within their local authority’s own area, while one third of the total (33 per cent) were placed more than 20 miles away.
A spokesman for the Department for Education insisted that recent changes to legislation would improve the welfare of children in care. He told Children and Young People Now:
“We have changed the law so all children in foster care can stay with their foster family until they are 21, tightened the rules to avoid young people leaving care before they are ready …However there is always more that can be done to ensure children in care receive the best possible support.”