Almost 50% of children in Surrey’s care system live outside the county, Ofsted report reveals

May 17, 2018
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Almost half the amount of children in the care system in Surrey live with foster families outside of the county.

Of the 930 children being looked after by Surrey County Council, 445 (49%) live in a different local authority area.

The figures came to light in the report by Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspectors slamming SCC for failing to act on failings identified four years ago.

Inspectors rated SCC’s children services as ‘inadequate’ following the inspection in March.

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The report focused on half of children who are looked after living outside Surrey because there are “not enough foster carers in the county”.

It recognised that most lived with “kind carers who do their best to compensate for things the children have missed out on”.

And it praised current foster carers for providing vulnerable children with “placements which are stable and which support them to make progress to independence”.

It said children were thriving in long-term matched foster placements but Dave Hill, newly-appointed executive director for children, families and learning for SCC, said more were desperately needed to stop the large number of children having to be placed with families outside of the area.

As part of Foster Care Fortnight, he and Councillor Clare Curran, cabinet member for children’s services, met with foster carers and said they were doing “exceptional work”.

Responding to the report, he said: “The reality is we could do with twice as many as we currently have. We need more of these great people.

“If there are people who are interested in becoming foster carers for us, please do make contact with us.

“If there was one thing that would improve the service rapidly it would be to recruit more of these wonderful foster carers that we have.”

The ‘inadequate’ rating of the service follows on from the same result in 2014. In the report, out today, inspectors said “too many of the most vulnerable children in the county are being left exposed to continuing harm for long periods of time before decisive protective actions are taken”.

It highlighted that senior leaders and elected members had been “far too slow to accept and act on findings and recommendations” from the earlier report.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/almost-50-children-surreys-care-14667415


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