Newsnight gave great coverage to yesterday’s report ‘No Place at Home‘ by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults. The report found that growing numbers of vulnerable children in care are being sent to live many miles from home where they are being targetted by criminal drug gangs and paedophiles.
You can watch Newsnight’s special report below.
We need the Government to commit to developing an Emergency Action Plan which will give councils more funding to ensure that there is a sufficient number of good quality, regulated and inspected care placements where children need them and put an end to this national scandal.
Local councils are unwittingly acting as ‘recruiting sergeants’ for County Lines drugs gangs by sending vulnerable children to live miles away from home, according to a parliamentary inquiry out today.
Evidence submitted to the inquiry suggests thousands of children are being put at risk by being moved to children’s homes up to 100 miles from where they live.
This “sent away generation” become magnets for paedophiles and ‘County Lines’ gangs as they are isolated from friends, family and social workers, says the report ‘No Place at Home’ by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults into children missing from out of area placements.
More than 70 per cent of the 41 police forces that responded to the inquiry said that placing children out of area increased their risk of exploitation often resulting in them being coerced into going missing.
As chair of the All-Party Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, I was invited to deliver the keynote address at the International Conference on Missing People and Adults at the University of Liverpool.
It was attended by over 200 delegates from all over the world. The general theme for the 3-day conference was ‘coming together’. I highlighted the need for statory services to come together in responding to people who go missing but also in the interventions to prevent people go missing.
If agencies can work hand in hand then many of the problems we have identified could be mitigated – even at a time of scarce public resources.
My full speech and presentation is available below.