1. ITV Report

Report highlights 'key concerns' in residential care for children

A new report has highlighted 'key concerns' within Wales' care system for children.

Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/PA Images

The report by the Children's Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland shows that residential care can help some children feel more stable, engage with education and stay away from past troubles.

However, the report, which is designed to explore how safe children feel in care homes, also highlighted several issues including:

  • Children sometimes placed far away from home without adequate planning for their support needs, putting strain on the children and the support of local services.
  • Children can be unnecessarily criminalised by frequent police call outs.
  • Lack of adequate support and housing for young people leaving residential care at the age of 18, who currently have fewer rights than those in foster care.
  • Limited involvement by young people in big decisions about where they will live.

It has been enlightening to hear young people's experiences through our fieldwork, including young people who have been able to make positive changes to their lives as a result of good support from staff in children's homes.

There are some concerns raised however and my report makes recommendations to improve young people's experiences and ensure that support is consistent for all young people across Wales.

I encourage all those who work with children in care to listen to their opinions and experiences and give them the opportunity to shape the care that they receive. They are the experts on what works and it is important that their voices are heard.

– Sally Holland, the Children's Commissioner for Wales

You can read the full report here.