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Home for Christmas 

Our 2022 briefing on "placement” moves for children in care over the Christmas period

In England between 18 December 2021 and 3 January 2022, at least 1257 children in care moved homes.

We know through our work with care-experienced children and young people that Christmas can be a particularly isolating and lonely time so our new research set out to explore how many children and young people in care are moved over the Christmas period, as such instability is likely to compound the loneliness and isolation many already feel.  

Our research found that in England between 18 December 2021 and 3 January 2022:

  • At least 1257 children in care moved homes 
  • On average, 79 children a day were moved  
  • One local authority saw 54 children moved during the Christmas period 
  • Data provided by some local authorities shows that some children in their area were moved more than once during this period 

Read the briefing below:

While families across the country will be enjoying time together, young people in care are being uprooted and moved, and facing increasing uncertainty. One young person Become supports told us “Christmas (…) often reminds me that I don’t have a ‘normal’ family (..) I am reminded of how different my experience of the world is from them” 

These moves can be abrupt, and not the child’s choice, which only exacerbates feelings of being unsettled and uprooted. It can also lead to children being unable to maintain relationships, to feel safe and secure, and to remain connected to the people around them. It increases their feelings that they have little agency over their lives and their futures. 

This report should be a wakeup call for Government to address the instability children in the care system are facing as a matter of urgency. As a first step,  government must make a commitment to reduce the number of moves children in the care system experience and provide the necessary additional funding to boost the number of children’s homes in areas that need them, and to invest in recruiting more foster carers, particularly for those children who are currently not well served by the system. 

Christmas (…) often reminds me that I don’t have a ‘normal’ family (...) I am reminded of how different my experience of the world is from them

Home for Christmas
4 responses

  1. Gary Brown says:

    January 2, 2023 at 7:05 pm

    They need to look at the whole children in care system as they’re taking too far too many kids in the care for no reason

  2. MELANIE EVANS says:

    January 3, 2023 at 2:31 am

    Absolutely disgusting and it has got to stop

  3. Nora Moules says:

    January 4, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Just WHO and WHEN is Someone in Parliament going to Stand Up and address once and for all what is happening to “Children in Care” in the UK.
    A system by its very nature and Statutory Responsibility designed to offer every child placed ‘in care’ a safe warm and nurturing HOME where they can grow and develop safely whilst given every support possible for them to feel safe and secure in a warm caring and nurturing environment..
    It is not only an absolute travesty when any child or young person placed in ‘Care’ does not receive the very best of Care and Attention, it’s also an indictment against the very system responsible for making judgement as to why it was in that child’s best interest to be placed in care in the first place.
    It’s an indictment against those charged with the responsibility of ensuring that Quality of Care happens .
    It is the Responsibility of Government to ensure Children placed in the Care System receive the Quality of Care as Laid Down In the Various Acts of Parliament .
    What is evident is they are NOT receiving the Quality of Care they are Entitled to and are being FAILED.
    And those responsible for those failings and derelictions of duty and responsibilities need to be called to account 😡
    All Credit to those working tirelessly to ensure the voices of Children in Care are Heard whilst Supporting Those they can, to Speak Out for themselves. 👏👏

  4. Melissa Alice Chadderton says:

    November 12, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    Would love to help you

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