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08.07.19

LGA responds to Howard League children's home police call-outs report

Chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Children and Young People Board, councillor Anntoinette Bramble, has praised the positive work being done to reduce criminalisation of children in care.

However, as was pointed out in the Howard League for Penal Reform’s report, which highlighted how police are called to children’s homes around 200 times a year, she felt there was more that could still be done.

Ms Bramble explained: “Councils and their partners have been working hard to reduce the criminalisation of children in care, and it is positive to see this work having a real impact.

“However, as this report rightly shows, there is clearly more still to be done, and councils will continue to drive improvements with the support of the police, children's home providers and others to prevent more children in residential care being unnecessarily criminalised.

READ MORE: Children’s home providers risk criminalising young people with excessive police use

READ MORE: LGA praise councils for sharing services which save over £1bn

“Some calls to the police are genuine concerns for the welfare of a child in their care. It is always extremely worrying when a child goes missing from care and councils are working hard to keep children safe and give them the support they need.

"However, significant increases in demand for child protection services, alongside funding cuts from central government, mean that children’s services face a £3.1 billion funding gap by 2025.

“This is preventing councils from investing at the level they would like in the accommodation and support options needed to provide the best and most appropriate help for all children and young people.

“This is why it is essential that Government uses the forthcoming Spending Review to address the £3.1 billion shortfall in children’s services by 2025.”

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