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Children facing care 'need support'

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Giving children more support could prevent them going into care, according to a report released today.

The Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan, said that more work could be done to help children and young people stay in their homes before the decision is made to take them away from their families.

Nearly half of the children surveyed for the Children on the Edge of Care study (43%) believe that with more help, they would not have come into care. However 36% of those questioned said they believed extra support would not have helped in their case.

Dr Morgan said: “Decisions to place children in care, or returning children back to their family, are difficult, life changing, and can be traumatic.

“This report takes the views of children already in care and looks at what lessons can be learnt to ensure they, and others like them, do not necessarily go into care, or if they are to go back home, it is in their best interest.

“It is clear from listening to children that more support is needed to help children stay with their families before decisions are made about placing them into care.

“Similarly, reuniting children with their families needs to be gradual and timely, with social workers checking and assessing whether this is still in the best interest of the child.”

Out of those questioned, 71% understood why they had been taken into care, while 20% said they were unsure and 9% did not know why.

The 122 children surveyed said they felt that parenting guidance, respite care for families where a parent or child has a disability and assistance with their own problems could have helped them to stay with their birth family.

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