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Comment on placement costs

John Pearce, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“Local authorities can pay tens of thousands of pounds a week for individual placements for the children in their care who have who the most complex needs, while providers can pick and choose which children to accept, and at what cost, due to the high levels of demand. The increasingly unmanageable costs of children’s social care placements, and the significant shortfall in suitable homes in the right places for children in our care has led to a crisis in the sector that needs a national response.

“We urgently need to re-balance the system in favour of meeting children’s needs and move away from the current market-led system where considerable levels of borrowing and debts are held by some private companies. Should any of these providers fail, it would be children who suffer the most. And, as the Competition and Markets Authority previously noted, higher than expected profits are being generated here and the level of risk of disruption to children’s accommodation, and care, is unacceptable. A comprehensive national placement strategy is needed to ensure that the system has children’s needs, not maximising profits at its heart.”


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