Nearly a quarter of children in care only find out their placement is changing on the day the move takes place, according to this year’s Children’s Care Monitor survey.
Published today, the research found 23% of children are given no notice before a placement move, while 32% are given notice of a week or less.
This means over half of looked-after children receive less than a week’s notice before they move home.
Roger Morgan, the children’s rights director who oversees the annual survey, said: “Moving homes can sometimes create a great deal of disruption so it is worrying that so many children are reporting that they were given little or no notice before moving placements.”
Some 42% of children who changed placements did not visit their new home before being relocated. Disabled children were more likely than others to get more than a week’s notice of a move, the survey found.
The survey also found that more care leavers are out of work. Last year 21% of care leavers were not in education, employment or training but this year the figure had risen to 29%, although this is lower than the 36% seen in 2009.
The trend for care leavers to enter education rather than work or training continued. In 2009 17% of care leavers entered work or training but this year only 12% did so.
A total of 1,895 children and young people aged four to 24, including 199 care leavers, took part in the survey.
Too few social workers see children in care alone