Hundreds of children missing from care homes
Hundreds of children have disappeared from council care homes without a trace during the past 10 years, a damning report into the plight of child “runaways” has found.
A survey of 172 local authorities in England and Wales who care for 28,000 children found between 376 and 389 young people were missing and councils did not know where they were. The true figure is probably higher because six authorities said they did not keep records of missing children.
Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act showed children at 41 authorities had gone missing without a trace. One said it had lost 110 children since 2000. The children are mainly from authorities in London and South-east England. Victoria Hull, a national development worker at the Care Leavers’ Association, which carried out the research, said it was worrying that hundreds of vulnerable young people seemed to be disappearing into thin air.
“That some authorities could not answer our questions because they did not keep track of the data is shocking. If those local authorities can’t even keep track of where their vulnerable young people are, how can they be relied upon to ensure their safety?”
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