Council scandal – Foster children – Care
County council – Fostering
Dorset County Council allegedly sending vulnerable children to homes hundreds of miles away against care regulations.
Dorset children placed in care are being sent to homes hundreds of miles from family and friends. Hundreds of children in care have been moved out of Dorset County Council’s boundaries within the past few years. Campaigners are ‘deeply concerned’ at the high numbers of children, which they feel is not acceptable.’ In its own defence the Council reports that it only moves children for safeguarding reasons, or where services exist elsewhere and there is no local alternative. It also reports that mostly children are re-located to within County boundaries as soon as is practicable.
According to campaigners in 2013, 13 were placed in Somerset and Hampshire while 30 were placed in Bournemouth and Poole. In one case a child was sent to Norfolk, another to Greater Manchester and two to Gloucester, the figures show. According to the Council, the reasons behind a placement are determined by the child’s social worker and after a process of assessment of the child’s individual needs. There are a few children placed in education, therapeutic or residential provision outside of the County. The Council always makes arrangements in these circumstances to maintain the child’s links with friends or family.
A few children cannot have their individual needs met locally. This could be because of risk, safeguarding concerns or lack of local specialist provision. The child’s social worker has to visit the child regularly and the child’s care plan is discussed in review.” Many people are concerned at the high numbers of children placed outside County boundaries, leading to worries about the experiences of the child already placed in vulnerable circumstances. When children in care are moved out of the area, they remain the responsibility of Dorset Children’s Services.
Worries always exist for children when they are placed out of authority, and especially when they are placed so far away in some circumstances the children are placed as far away as Yorkshire.
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