Duncan Lewis

Family Law

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Government plans to combat sexual exploitation of children has been published

Date: (3 July 2012)    |    

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Government’s plans to fight sexual exploitation of children in care homes by gangs have been published which has been acted upon the recommendations by the deputy children’s commissioner in a report on the issue of sexual exploitation.
Following the conviction of nine men in the Rochdale child sex ring had raised a lot of concerns about the child safety at care homes.
Tim Loughton the Children’s Minister has said the changes are big as the system was letting down too many.
One of the girls in the Rochdale sex ring incident was at a care center at that time and all other victims were said to have been known to social services at some point.
The new measures would include new regulations to make it harder to put children in care homes which are outside their home boroughs, and plans to simplify the data of children who go missing from care.
Ministers also pledged a wide-ranging review of all aspects of the quality and effectiveness of children's homes, including management, ownership and staffing.
A working group would consider the reason why some local authorities placed children to homes outside their own boroughs and whether such placements were catering to the need of the child. Whether the quality of care in the homes were being monitored and whether homes places like Rochdale were really the best place for most vulnerable children.
Ministers also plan a second working group to examine how best to improve the quality of children's homes and staff skills.
Mr Loughton said the government wanted to get rid of the culture of sending children out of sight and out of mind which leads to the child ending up in residential care. Instead he said that vulnerable young people should be given protection and a best possible start in life.
A more detailed finding on child exploitation in gangs and groups is due by the Deputy children's commissioner Sue Berelowitz which could be completed in September this year.
That report suggests growing evidence that children in care were particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and that although most victims lived in their family home, a disproportionate number were in residential care.

 

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