“To my astonishment, when I tried to find out more, I met a wall of silence! There was one group of people, however, who did seem to possess all the information: the gangs intent on exploiting these vulnerable children. They knew where the homes were; they knew how to contact the children: at the fish and chip shop, the amusement arcade, in the local park, or just by hanging around outside the houses.The Telegraph continued:
In the name of 'protecting children’ by officially 'protecting’ their information, we had ended up helping the very people we were supposed to be protecting them from. We shielded the children from the authorities who needed to be looking out for them.
One figure stands out: almost half of children are placed in homes outside their local authority areas, and over a third are sent more than 20 miles from home. That is indefensible. So, too, is the fact that more than half of children’s homes are in areas with above-average crime levels.”
“Children’s homes have failed to provide basic protection while costing taxpayers on average six and a half times as much to care for a single child as it would cost to send them to Eton.
Councils now spend an average of £4,000 a week… to place a child in a home… One council, Bexley in Kent, spent more than £58,000 a week per child, £3million each, on specialist privately run homes last year…
3 out of 10 are located in the worst crime hot spots in the country… They are heavily concentrated in just two areas: the North West and the West Midlands, both of which have been at the centre of grooming scandals…
The Rochdale case, in which nine men, predominantly of Pakistani origin, were last year jailed for grooming and raping a group of girls as young as 13, shone a light on the practice of councils sending vulnerable children to homes hundreds of miles away from friends and family.”