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First National review of children’s care homes in Wales

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has published its National Review of Care Homes for Children, providing an understanding of outcomes for children living in care homes as well as some of the challenges facing the sector in Wales.

The review, conducted between July 2018 and March 2019, evaluates the quality of care provided and reflects the views and experiences of children who have experienced residential care placements.

While CIW found that many of the children received good quality support in the homes, there were several key recommendations for improvement.

The review highlights the increased number of children who go missing from care, and there is a recommendation to review policies and practice to ensure children are not placed at unnecessary and increased risk of harm, including criminalisation.

Another area under scrutiny is the number of care home places provided. CIW recommend that providers and local authorities need to ensure there are enough placements to meet children’s needs and enable them to live close to home.

The review also found that a number of children had experienced several placement breakdowns leading to a significant number of moves, with these experiences affecting their general well-being.

The organisation’s Chief Inspector, Gillian Baranski commented:

“In carrying out this review we found examples of positive practice which we want to recognise, share and promote. We also identified areas where children experienced poor outcomes, often because those in a position to ensure they received the care and support they needed did not work together to make this happen. “The findings in this report sit alongside those of our national overview report of local authorities’ care and support for care experienced children and young people, published in June 2019. It is disappointing the findings contained in our reviews are not new, and the majority of which do not require additional resources to achieve.”

CIW confirmed it will follow up the recommendations, and work with others to secure improvements in outcomes for the most vulnerable children and young people in Wales.

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