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Sunday, 05 January 2014

Residential care reforms tighten scrutiny on council decisions

Written by The Editorial Team

Councils have been warned against locating vulnerable children far from their homes, as residential care reforms increase scrutiny on town hall decision-making.

Regulation changes set for introduction at the end of January will permit only senior council officials in charge of children’s services to place young people out of a region.

Local authorities will be allowed one individual to be accountable for decisions on locating vulnerable children.

Among a range of reforms, the Government will introduce rules forcing homes to tell councils when children move into and out of an area.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson (pictured), said: ‘It’s totally unacceptable for local authorities to routinely place children miles away from their homes for no good reason.

‘Far too often an “out of sight, out of mind” culture prevails, and I’m determined to tackle it.’

Timpson added: ‘I’m also removing the secrecy around residential care by putting more information in the public domain than ever before on the location and quality of homes and working with Ofsted to improve inspection.

‘There is still more work to be done, and I expect councils and care homes to rise to the challenge.’