We hear all the time about children being taken away from their families and placed into care. Unfortunately we live in a world which is not a safe place for everyone, and children often seem to suffer as a result of abuse, neglect and domestic violence.
What happens after the children are taken away from their parents is often something that I don't think gets given enough attention. These are real people, often young children who are scared and frightened about what the future holds. Based on some research I have done, my opinion is that these children should be placed as close to home as possible. Being away from their usual surroundings and friends and schools will probably make the situation even more daunting for them. Sometimes it is understandably necessary to move a child further away if they are in danger, which is obviously in the best interest of the child.
Kent County Council have been at the forefront of a plan to call on other councils to do more to ensure that children taken into care are placed as close to home as possible, in order to reduce the effects this will have on them. I was particularly interested in this as I specialise in locum recruitment for Kent County Council.
Kent County Council has called on the Government to legislate as outlined below:
- Require local authorities to place children within 15 miles of their home or school, unless by exception,
- Ensure all local authorities report annually on how many children have been placed more than 15 miles away or in another local authority area, and
- Require London councils to work together to commission care placements in London to enable children to stay close to home, and reduce pressure placed on Kent's public services by supporting children from other council areas.
Personally, I think this is an excellent initiative and shows how proactive a Council Kent is. I would be really interested to hear reader's thoughts.