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Comment on CHA membership announcement

ADCS President Andy Smith said:

“ADCS welcomes the announcement from the Children’s Homes Association to change its membership criteria so that organisations are UK based and not benefitting from tax havens. This sends a positive signal about the need for a more stable care system that is committed to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable children and young people above all else. We now urgently need national government to create a set of national rules to ensure the system is reset in favour of children’s best interests.

“Children’s services have long operated in a mixed economy with private, voluntary and community providers involved in the delivery of services locally. However, the entry of private equity amongst an ever-shrinking group of private providers is a real concern. Research tells us that, as of last year, the 10 largest providers accounted for £30% of all children’s homes with some holding eye watering levels of borrowing and debt. The risks associated with provider failure or withdrawal from the market are significant to children. Should this happen, no single local authority could step in.

“ADCS continues to call on government to initiate a shift away from profiteering in the placements market and to invest, or help local authorities invest in, new, not for profit provision. Not only are the costs of placement putting significant financial pressure on local authorities, we also question whether the current offer meets the needs of children today, particularly where they have complex needs. Our priority must always be on caring for children by providing them with homes that meet their needs, not maximising profits.”


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