UK Government To Ban Placing Vulnerable Children In Unregulated Accommodations


UK Government to Ban Placing Vulnerable Children in Unregulated Accommodations

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th February, 2021) The UK government announced on Friday that a ban on placing vulnerable children in unregulated accommodation will come into force in September, amidst reports that thousands of children under the age of 16 were living in potentially unsafe conditions including caravans, tents and barges.

"Children in care under 16 will no longer be allowed to be accommodated in unregulated independent or semi-independent placements, helping to ensure the most vulnerable are cared for in settings that best meet their needs," the Department of education said in a statement, adding that regulations to drive up standards in children's social care have already been laid on Parliament.

The official announcement comes as the Sky news broadcaster reported on Friday between January 2019 and December 2020, at least 9,990 children were placed into unregulated accommodation by 86 local authorities.

Citing figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the broadcaster said that "at least 20 children were sent to live in tents or caravans, 17 were placed into hostels, and seven were housed in barges on canals."

Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner for England, welcomed the government's announcement but warned that the ban should include all children under 18s.

"There are too many teenage children in care living in completely unsuitable and sometimes dangerous accommodation," she wrote on Twitter, adding that they are easy prey for those who abuse or exploit children.

Longfield also blamed "the chronic shortage" of residential provision for children in care for these problems, and called for them to be rectified in the forthcoming government spending review.