Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester says that Cheshire East Council (CE) must take urgent action to ensure that more of their vulnerable children are cared for in the Borough and not in some far flung place.
He said,' Maps compiled by the Dept. of Education show that over half (54%) of cared for children are sent to far flung care homes by CE (See link below) This percentage is twice as high as CheshireWest,Warrington,Wirral and Lancashire. In Shropshire it is 33%.
A series of reports ordered in the wake of the Rochdale sexual exploitation scandal highlighted how children sent far from their familiar support networks of family and friends could be more vulnerable to grooming rings. It is more difficult for social workers to observe and assess the progress of the children they have responsibility for. Also it is more expensive to have children in these far flung homes.
This latest criticism comes only months after a damning OFSTED report on the Child Protection arrangements in CE. (See below) The report stated that, 'Not even minimum standards were being met in this crucial area of child protection'. It further stated that 'children, young people and families experience poor recognition of risk, delays and inconsistent management decision making. This increases the children and young people's potential risk of harm.'
It is obvious that considerable improvement is required in the way that vulnerable children are housed and protected in CE.'
Cllr Brian Silvester
Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor
Cheshire East Council
Tel/fax 01270 567757