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LEWISHAM LBC BUCKS TREND OF PRIVATE SECTOR CHILD CARE

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Lewisham LBC is to open its own children's home, 10 years after closing all its homes in a move towards wholesale u...
Lewisham LBC is to open its own children's home, 10 years after closing all its homes in a move towards wholesale use of foster placements for children in care.

In an article in the Guardian (Society, p9), Lewisham's director of social services, Chris Hume, explains why the borough has made the about turn.

'The late 1980s policy of using foster care and other family placements has come unstitched; we are driven to put children into private sector residential placements of variable quality', he says.

'More than 130 children are placed in private sector fostering or children's homes. Yet what do we know about these placements, and how safe are children placed in them?'

Hume argues that, provided the lessons of the current inquiries into children's homes are learned, 'it is possible to ensure children are safe in homes run directly by local authorities'.
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