The government took various measures in 2013 in order to improve the quality of care and outcomes for looked-after children. However children are being given placements far away from their homes.

The Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, recently announced that new residential care rules will come into force at the end of this month, in which councils will be under far stricter scrutiny as to where children are placed.

Announcing the changes, Mr Timpson said: “Far too often an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ culture prevails, and I’m determined to tackle it.”

Sometimes it may be in the best interest of the child to be moved out of their area. This decision will now only be left to senior council officials in charge of children’s services. Their decision has to be judged that it is the right decision for a child to be moved away from their home area.

Mr Timpson went on to explain that it means there can only be one individual in each local authority that is directly accountable for these decisions.

The change to the regulations is said to be part of a wider package of reforms and in addition the government are working closely with Ofsted to strengthen their inspection and intervention powers so that ‘good’ is the only acceptable standard for the homes. It will also mean that homes can only open in safe areas run by competent providers and much more information on the quality and location of children’s homes will be put into the public domain.

If you are affected by anything in this article or currently dealing with children’s services would like to talk to one of our family team about your situation, contact us at one of our offices in Lincoln, Boston, Grantham, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark.

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