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.