There has been an 'explosion' in number of older children going into care over last five years which is hitting stability of the system, the Children’ Commissioner has warned today.
The Children’s Commissioner’s annual Stability Index shows a care system changing over recent years as more and more older children and teenagers with complex needs enter care.
In response, Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:
“Children’s services are facing a perfect storm. Far too often families are not getting the help they need until they reach crisis point, meaning older children are entering the care system with complex needs.
“Barnardo’s is increasingly supporting children and young people who have already suffered multiple adverse childhood experiences such as neglect or living in a household with domestic abuse. This makes them vulnerable to further harm such as sexual abuse, criminal exploitation and trafficking.
“We urge the Government to take notice of this report, and invest in children’s services so local authorities can support children and families early, before problems escalate. This also requires a long-term approach, driven jointly by Government and local authorities, health bodies and charities like Barnardo’s, to help all vulnerable children achieve a positive future.”