careleaverLooked-after children are often at risk from sex exploitation in gangs and absconding - especially those placed in children’s homes a long way away from the local authority responsible for their care.

In order to improve their welfare and outcome, the goverment has published its response to a consulation on safeguarding measures. It received 135 responses, which included children’s homes providers, youth justice and health service organisations.

The proposals include:
* Requesting a review of a child’s care plan from the responsible local authority - virtually all delegates agreed with this
*50% of respondents wanted a Director of Children’s Services (DCS), rather than a nominated officer to approve a distant placement
* Half of respondents (private children’s homes providers and local authorities) did not agree that a change in legislation would prevent children leaving care prematurely
* A child’s care plan must take place if there is evidence that he or she is at risk ie, persisently absent from care
* Placing local authorities must consult with the local authority where the child will be placed, prior to placement
* 62% of respondents said that information sharing between placement and area authorities was necessary to adequately safeguard children in distant placements
* Some respondents said a better partnership between local authorities and children’s homes providers was needed.
* 51% agreed that these proposals will improve collaboration between placing authorities and services in the areas where children are placed. In turn, this could improve effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements.

Read the government’s main proposals to amend the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 at:
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/268732/CP_consultation_response_v_1_1__2_.pdf