Children in Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Ann Coffey Ann Coffey Labour, Stockport

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant the Answer of 14 October 2017 to Question 106132 on Children in Care, what progress his Department has made on the assessment of data on the use of out of area placements.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department continues to collect, review and publish data on local authorities’ use of out-of-area placements. From our latest publication, 19% of all children in care were in a placement more than 20 miles from their home at 31 March 2018.

The department is currently supporting a number of projects aimed at increasing capacity locally. Through our children’s social care Innovation Programme, we are providing £5 million of funding to 3 projects in London and the South East that will increase the capacity of residential and fostering placements in the area. We are providing 3 local authorities with seed-funding to explore the possibility of setting up new secure provision, where our data shows that out of area placements are particularly common. Later this year we will also be offering all local authorities the opportunity to bid for seed funding to develop new approaches to increasing the sufficiency of foster parents.

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