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Comment: Boarding school placements for children in care

Commenting on the use of boarding school placements for children in care Charlotte Ramsden, Chair of the ADCS Health, Care and Additional Needs Policy Committee said:

“For some children in and on the edge of care the right boarding school can provide a strong foundation in life, sometimes as an alternative to care, but it’s not suitable for every child. Children and young people’s needs vary so social workers will explore a range of options when considering how to best to support them. For most children in care a return home, fostering, adoption, or a placement with a family member is the best option. Research published last summer is helpful and suggests boarding school placements can improve social and educational outcomes for some children in some circumstances, but there are also many reasons why they may not be appropriate. For example, intense support to maintain a young person at home may be possible, more children are entering care older with complex needs which the school might not be able to meet and children can come into care at any point during the year which doesn’t fit neatly with academic years. Boarding schools typically have longer holidays so where planning a boarding school placement local authorities will need to consider appropriate wrap around support and holiday arrangements. Other things taken into account include the location and cost of the school, together with distance from home and the importance of maintaining local and family relationships. Local authorities will always work with vulnerable children and young people and their families to secure the best possible outcomes according to individual need and will also ensure the views of the young person are actively addressed in the plan.”


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