13,000 children in care 'left with inadequate levels of support' – new analysis
Thousands of children in care are being left without adequate support from local authorities, a new report has found.
Fresh analysis by the Social Market Foundation thinktank found that a “silent crisis” in the social care system has left tens of thousands of children in the care of local authorities that are deemed to have insufficient child services.
According to the report, 47,000 children are being cared for by local authorities that require improvements in their level of service, while 13,000 are being looked after by authorities with services deemed inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.
Matthew Oakley, senior researcher at the Social Market Foundation, hit out at the findings, saying that it showed that “we are letting down tens of thousands of the most vulnerable people in society.”
He added: “These figures should have already set alarm bells ringing in Westminster, but instead, politicians of all parties squabble on Twitter and play games over leadership.”
The study also warns that children growing up in these areas are much more likely to end up in prison or have poor educational outcomes. Only 14% of children in care achieved five A*-C GCSE’s in 2015, compared with the national average of 55%.
But Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s national director for social care argued that while standards were not high enough in some areas, that 60% of local authorities had improved their overall judgement since the start of 2018.
Nadhim Zahawi, minister for children and families, said: “Where a council fails in its duty to keep a vulnerable child safe, we will not hesitate to intervene. Since 2010 we have intervened in 45 councils and we have seen services improve, and we are actively working with the weakest areas to build on improvements.”