Submission to Education Select Committee Inquiry into Children’s Homes
In April 2021, CRAE and Just for Kids Law submitted to the Education Select Committee's inquiry on children's homes to highlight that the use of unregulated provision for 16- and 17-year-olds is increasing, despite the many instances of poor-quality provision seen in Just for Kids Law’s caseload.
While the vast majority of 16- and 17-year-olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and approach local authorities for help should be accommodated as a looked-after child under section 20 of the Children Act, we've found that an estimated 1,498 16- and 17-year-olds housed in unregulated accommodation (1 in 5 of all children living in unregulated settings) were not made a looked-after child by the local authority they approached in 2018-19.
We believe these children are being left behind as the Government’s planned reforms – to ban children in care who are under 16 from being placed in unregulated settings and to create national minimum standards for unregulated placements accommodating 16- and 17-year-old looked-after children – do not include them in their scope and may even lead to worse outcomes for them.
Read the full submission here.