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More children should be in care, say MPs

The Commons education select committee says more at-risk children should be put into care and has called for more support for vulnerable teenagers in need of assistance.

The committee’s new report is published in light of recent scandals including the Jimmy Savile allegations and the Rochdale child grooming case, further convincing them that the child protection system urgently needs to be reformed.

Due to the increasing number of concerns over the exploitation of children, they want reforms to combat abuse by negligent parents who fail to alter their behaviour, even after being given the chance to improve. The committee also asserts that older children are not sufficiently supported, especially upon leaving the care system.

The report underlines the problem of children suffering from “long-term, chronic neglect” and the inability of social services to promptly remove a neglected child from a family. It has become evident that the neglectful parents, who may possess problems of their own, are all too often observed by support agencies without any crucial interventions taking place.

The committee suggests a more positive image for care services could avoid the abuse of vulnerable children. Committee chairman Graham Stuart emphasises in particular the problem of care for older children, as a lack of support could render them defenceless against future exploitation.

Chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, David Simmonds, warned of the difficulties inextricably tied to the decision to take a child away from a family and echoed financial concerns.

Nonetheless, a spokesperson from the Department for Education confirmed that the issues illustrated in the report highlighted the need for reform which will be considered further by the Government.

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