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ADCS response: report on profit making and risk in independent...

Commenting on the latest profit making and risk in independent children’s social care placement providers report, ADCS President John Pearce said:

“Behind each placement is a child with vulnerabilities in need of help and support, their needs should come before all else. This report is the latest in a long line outlining the unjustifiable level of profit being made by the largest privately run companies, all from our most vulnerable children and young people. We need to re-balance the system in favour of meeting children’s needs and 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, no single local authority could step in, and it would be children who suffer the greatest consequence. As the Competition and Markets Authority notes, the current level of risk of disruption to children’s accommodation and care is unacceptable.

“We are the only purchasers of placements but providers can pick and choose which referrals to accept and set the price due to high levels of demand. Local authorities across the country are working hard to overcome the sufficiency challenges they face with many investing in their own children’s homes and in campaigns aimed at recruiting and retaining more foster carers, but this alone cannot solve the problem in either the short or longer term. ADCS continues to call for new legislation which prevents profiteering in children’s services and for the introduction of pricing bands and caps. The system must be driven by children’s needs, not maximising profits.”


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