Comment on DfE’s announcement on unregulated accommodation for...

Responding to the Department for Education’s announcement on unregulated accommodation for under-16s, ADCS President Jenny Coles said:

“No child should live in unsafe, unsuitable accommodation and we should be working collectively to maintain a sharp focus on improving standards for all children in care. Today’s announcement on unregulated independent and semi-independent settings adds to the local arrangements which local authorities already have in place to quality assure and monitor these settings.

“The ban on under-16s being placed in unregulated provision will have wider implications in terms of placement sufficiency which local authorities have long been grappling with. Finding the right placement at the right time for the growing number of children in our care is a priority for all local authorities. However, we face a national shortage of foster carers and a lack of suitable regulated homes.

“The government’s commitment to additional funding to increase children’s homes provision is welcome but we need immediate up-front investment to address some of the sufficiency issues. The sector also needs clarity as to how the proposals set out in today’s announcement will be funded.

“Banning unregulated provision for under 16’s is a simple solution to a complex set of problems. ADCS believes regulatory reform is essential in addressing these issues. There is also a need for joint working across government to improve access to mental health provision for vulnerable children and young people, investment in the workforce, and to address profit making by private equity firms. The recently launched Care Review presents a clear opportunity to address these issues so that all children can have the best possible outcomes in life.”

ENDS



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