England’s care system found ‘unfit for purpose’

A new report has accused authorities of putting vulnerable teenagers at more serious risk

A review of England’s care system has found that the safeguarding system is “unfit for purpose” and is in urgent need of being reformed, as it is putting teenagers in a “bleak” position where they are at risk of exploitation.

The Commission on Young Lives report, released on Wednesday, found that the existing care system is “infuriatingly inadequate” due to a shortage of accommodation, failure to identify exploitation, and cuts to funding.

It also claimed that the English care system is flawed in that it moves young people from their local areas to unregulated accommodation targeted by criminals.

The report even alleged that criminal gangs have been informed by local authorities that vulnerable teenagers were recently moved to an area, leaving them at risk of exploitation.

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This sees young people put “in even greater danger” than before they entered the care system, making the current situation “unfit for purpose.”

Seeking to address the issue, the report urged officials to “urgently” start “reforming the system” by launching a taskforce and banning unregulated accommodation for under-18s in care.

The commission was launched in September 2021 to explore failures in the current system and seek to prevent at-risk children and young people from “falling into violence, exploration and the criminal justice system.”

Backed by the Oasis Charitable Trust, which supports young people in over 40 neighborhoods across England, it aims to provide a solution to the “ever-present” threats that “destroy lives and prospects.”

Responding to the report, the UK government said it is working on “urgently reforming the system to address growing pressures,” citing how it is investing £259 million ($348.13 million) to boost accommodation and £45 million ($60.49 million) to help vulnerable children.

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