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Placing children in care homes closer to homes

Concern has recently been expressed by members of the Government and children’s charities that the current regulation of placing a child in a care home within 20 miles of the child’s home (unless there are exceptional circumstances) is not being adhered to. This comes amid claims that 20 care homes in Kent are caring exclusively for children from outside of the county. Kent County Council is now calling for a lowering of the distance from care home to home to 15 miles.

The Children’s Society has also published figures which show that 8,000 in care in England are in accommodation which is more than 20 miles from their homes.

One of the reasons cited for children being placed further than 20 miles from their own home is when a child is considered to be at further risk by being so close to home, therefore creating a child protection issue which can be dealt with by placing the child further away from the source of any issue.

A representative of Kent County Council said that Councils place children away from home for the right reasons, because children have been neglected or are in danger and there is a need for the authorities involved to provide protection to the children.