Articles in several local newspapers this week describe the often muddled handling of children in care across Hertfordshire. Statistics provided by Hertfordshire County Council’s Children, Young People and Families Cabinet Panel show that in December 2018 there were a total of 846 “looked after” children in the county, with another 113 unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
The figures also show that during the year 128 children in care have had three or more placements, with some children receiving up to ten different placements during this period.
A spokesman for Herts County Council is quoted as saying: “Children and young people in care move placements for a range of reasons regarding their complex needs…..Hertfordshire Children’s Services work alongside foster carers and residential homes to provide support for placements and to maintain stability for children wherever possible.”
In times of budget restrictions across most social services departments it is clear that issues will arise due to lack of funding and resources. However, every effort should be made to assess the needs of the child at the outset, so that the right programme of help is put in place and the child is placed in the right environment. Due to the shortage of foster carers or places in residential care this may be difficult to achieve, but the impact on the child should always be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Some moves are unavoidable but every change can feel like a slap in the face for the child, with more feelings of rejection, loss of trust in adults to keep them safe, a sense of insecurity, or simply not knowing where they will be tomorrow.
If you have concerns over child welfare issues regarding your family or friends, Bretherton Law can help. We continue to represent many of the most vulnerable in society, as one of the few local solicitors firms taking on legal aid work in family and children law.
The Children and Family Law departments at Bretherton Law have been helping families in Hertfordshire for over 50 years, offering professional, experienced and sympathetic advice to those in need. We are proud to be accredited by the Law Society in Family and Children Law, and are members of Resolution, the organisation representing family lawyers and other professionals in the field. Contact Director Sandra Bradley on 01727 869293, or via the contact form below.
Welwyn Hatfield Times – Children in Hertfordshire’s care system have had up to 10 placements in 12 months
Bretherton Law – Foster Care Appreciation Day