House of Commons
EDM #2639
Tabled 23 July 2019
2017-19 Session
That this House notes that over 5,000 looked-after children in England are living in 16+ supported or semi-supported accommodation; a rise of 70 per cent in a decade; further notes that the number of teenagers sent to unregulated care homes outside their home borough has doubled since 2014; is concerned that this accommodation lacks staff support, and includes unsupervised B&Bs and accommodation owned by private landlords, who have no obligations to offer appropriate care to looked-after children or those leaving care; notes that police have raised concerns on the number of teenagers reported missing from these homes and that vulnerable children are being placed in accommodation with known perpetrators of sexual and violent crimes and are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking, organised crime, serious violent crime, or lured into such criminal activity; regrets that Government has ignored calls for semi-supported settings to be registered and regulated in line with other accommodation for looked after children; notes that the Children’s Commissioner has raised concerns about such settings and the need for registration and regulation; believes local authority hotspots for receiving out of area looked-after children should be adequately funded to provide suitable, safe, secure accommodation; notes that a better understanding of the scale of the issue is vitally important; and requests the Department for Education to publish a data pack to determine up-to-date statistics on the number and proportion of looked after children running away or going missing from homes and hostels not subject to children’s homes regulations.