On 3 July, ministers announced urgent action to reform children’s residential care in response to recommendations made by the Deputy Children’s Commissioner and the All Party Parliamentary Group Joint Inquiry into Children who Go Missing from Care. Tim Loughton wrote to Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner, and Ann Coffey MP, chair of the All Party Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults on 3 July in response to their reports, and setting out the Government’s response.
There are up to 5000 children and young people in residential children’s homes, often at very long distances from their families and friends. The issues facing these young people were highlighted by the recent high profile case of child sexual exploitation in Rochdale. Ministers are determined that these children should receive much better care and protection and that the quality of children’s residential care should be significantly improved.
Urgent action is in progress to develop reforms.
Three groups have been set up, each involving wide-ranging expertise:
The work of these groups is being informed by a range of other activity. For example, we have been gathering views and evidence, through focus groups and visits, from care home managers and staff, commissioners and providers, looked after children social workers and other frontline practitioners. We are also gathering views from children and young people in children’s homes.
On 29 November, as part of these reforms, the Department launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the registration regulations so that Ofsted can share the names and addresses of children's homes on their register with the police, the Secretary of State for Education and the Office of the Children's Commissioner. This is an important practical step to allow the police and other agencies to give better protection to children.
The consultation runs from 29 November 2012 to 10 January 2013. Further information, including how to sign up for consultation workshops, can be found on the page of information relating to the proposed changes.
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Details of a push to combat sexual exploitation of children in care.
Consultation on the proposed revision to the Registration Regulations, so that Ofsted can share the names and addresses of children's homes on their register with the police, SoS and OCC.
Information about the consultation on amendments to the Care Standards Act 2000 (Registration) (England) Regulations 2010 to allow Ofsted to share the names and addresses of children’s homes on their register with the police, the SoS for Education and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.