Kent pushed to limits as ‘dumping ground’ for looked-after children

Kent Council is to name and shame a dozen local authorities in
London and the South East which are continuing to use the county as
a “dumping ground” for looked-after children.

Peter Gilroy, Kent social services director and chair of the
area child protection committee, has written to children’s
minister Margaret Hodge outlining his concerns  for the welfare of
up to 1,500 children who have been placed in Thanet by other

The situation is so acute that Kent has pledged to fund appeals
against councils which refuse planning permission for residential
care homes.

Gilroy warned a tragedy had already struck and feared it could
be repeated. In one case a premature baby placed in the county had
died without health or social services even being informed the baby
was there.

“Thanet is the 62nd most deprived authority in the UK but
it has 35 children’s homes,” he said.
“That’s like going to one of the poorest London
boroughs and dumping kids there.”

“How can you place a vulnerable child who may have been
abused into a poor setting three hours away from London? It’s
very difficult to monitor a child that distance away.”


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