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Care home reforms announced

Following the jailing of nine men in May 2012 in Rochdale, the Government’s Deputy Children’s Commissioner, Sue Berelowitz was asked to put together a report on sexual exploitation of children. That report has been published and considered by the Government which has now published plans on how to combat this activity and better protect vulnerable children and young adults in care homes in England.

New measures announced include making it much harder to place children in care homes outside of their own home boroughs and streamlining data to have a clearer picture of who goes missing from care.

Also promised is a wide-ranging review of quality and effectiveness of homes – including management, ownership and staffing.

One working group to be put together will consider why some children are sent out of their own boroughs, whether these placements actually meet the needs of the child, how the quality of care is monitored and whether areas such as Rochdale are really the best place for vulnerable looked after children.

A second working group will examine how best to improve the quality of children’s homes and staffing skills.