MPs are calling for an investigation into England's children's homes which, they say, are failing to manage and protect youngsters who run away or go missing.
- There are 65,520 children in local authority care in England
- An estimated 100,000 children run away each year
- They either go missing from care or their own homes
The report calls for urgent action to prevent children being sent to live in areas up to hundreds of miles from their family, which is believed to be a major factor in causing some of them to run away.
The number of childrens' homes rated "inadequate" by OFSTED has gone up significantly, ITV News has learned.
ITV News' Social Affairs Editor Penny Marshall spoke to Luke Rodgers who ran away after being relocated to a care home 40 miles from home.
Labour MP Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for runaway and missing children and adults, says the issue of children who go missing is a "scandal".
The report calls for the following action:
- An end to children being sent to live in areas up to hundreds of miles from their family
- A scorecard system to rate local authorities
- An end to barriers which prevent police knowing the location of children's homes
- A new system for reporting runaways from care
Matthew Reed, chief executive of charity The Children's Society, said:
The education watchdog Ofsted admitted the current system was currently failing some vulnerable children and during inspections of children's homes it regards the issue of missing children as one of the main indicators of the quality of care. It added: