Decision to close more than 25 children’s homes unacceptable
Decision to close more than 25 children’s homes is unacceptable
As the membership body for children’s homes in England and Wales, The Children’s Homes Association’s purpose is to support and promote exemplary residential childcare. While Outcomes First Group is not a member of the CHA, we uphold our role as the child-centred voice of the sector in stating that their decision to close over 25 children’s homes, without sufficient notice for local authorities to protect the wellbeing of the young people in their care, is unacceptable and falls woefully short of the standards expected from all providers in this vital sector.
The CHA has no association with Outcomes First Group but despite our in-depth knowledge of the financial and operational challenges affecting all providers, we see no reason why such drastic action would be necessary or justifiable for any responsible, properly run residential childcare organisation.
We once again urge Government to acknowledge the severity of the challenges facing the residential childcare sector so that providers are able to provide solutions for the young people affected while also striving to meet unprecedented demand.
Over the last 18 months, The Children’s Homes Association has repeatedly asked government to address the unprecedented pressures on all providers of children’s residential care – whether public, private, voluntary sector and of any organisational size. Rising costs alongside an acute workforce crisis continue to impact all provider’s ability to provide care at a time of unprecedented demand.
Despite significant investment to address similar challenges in adult social care and foster care, residential childcare remains ‘the forgotten sector’ and our society’s most vulnerable children and young people are suffering every day as a result. Despite continued warnings and evidence presented to government, no policy discussion to date has demonstrated sufficient commitment or desire to protect and improve the outcomes of children and young people for whom children’s homes and residential childcare services are a critical element of social care.
Government and stakeholders have been made acutely aware of the crisis in children’s residential care, and of the factors creating it: Record numbers of children in care with an alarming increase in high acuity cases; woefully underfunded local authorities; historically high and persistent inflation; and a severe recruitment and workforce crisis. The recruitment crisis is currently the most serious barrier to providers opening new provision to meet local authority sufficiency needs.
The actions of Outcomes First Group are unacceptable. But while our sector works to find solutions for those children and young people affected, while already striving to meet rising demand for the specialist residential services that are so vital in transforming young lives, those in power must stop ignoring our urgent calls for support and investment.
For more information please contact:
Peter Sandiford (CEO) – email@example.com (07597 982 533)
Dr Mark Kerr (Deputy CEO) – firstname.lastname@example.org (07539 411 591)
The Children’s Homes Association www.the-cha.org.uk is the voice of providers of residential child care services and resources across England and Wales. We are a Not-for-Profit Limited Company. The Children’s Homes Association represents both large and small providers with membership drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Some members have just one home whilst others have many homes across a wide geographic area.
WHAT WE DO
We provide knowledge, expert guidance, resources and day-to-day support to our members as we work together to deliver exemplary residential child care.We work directly with local and national government, regulators and allied public services, consulting on policy and changes within the sector. We ensure that the voices of our members are heard, through consultations, government responses and liaison with the media.
We actively develop partnerships, collaborations and professional communities to share best practice – for the benefit of our members, the sector and all those cared for within it. Our leadership and associates bring together vast expertise across the many aspects of providing and managing residential child care, with a fearlessly child-centred approach.
OUR VISION: Exemplary residential child care.
OUR MISSION: Drive excellence in residential child care through innovation, collaboration and sector leadership.