Children’s Rights Director challenges clamp down on out of authority placements

Nine out of 10 decisions to bring a child back from an out-of-authority placement are reversed following intervention from the office of the Children’s Rights Director, delegates at Community Care Live Children & Families were told today.

Children’s Rights Director, Roger Morgan, said that children complaining about being brought back from successful placements for financial or policy reasons was the “biggest source of the commission’s casework”.

He said that children were being told that their out of authority placements were being terminated because the local authority was “short of money or had had a change of policy”.

“Neither of these are valid reasons for pulling a child back from a placement,” Morgan said.  “The only valid reason is if the placement is not working out.”

Morgan said that complaints about this issue were now so common that he had developed a standard letter to send out to every director of children’s service implicated.

“Frighteningly, nine out of 10 of those cases get changed after they receive our letter.  But what about the children who don’t write?”

Morgan welcomed the green paper on children in care published this week but said he would wait now to find out from children how much of it was actually delivered and whether placements improved.

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