Redbridge Council receives funding to reduce number of children who go missing from care homes
PUBLISHED: 12:32 23 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:32 23 September 2014
Redbridge Council has received more than £80,000 worth of funding to help reduce the number of children who go missing from care homes.
Plans are in place for the government to fund a new partnership from the beginning of next month between the council, police, and children’s charity Barnado’s, in an attempt to reduce the risk of children going missing while in care.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Elaine Norman, said: “I’m very happy that we have received this funding and we will be able to trial this new approach.
“Children go missing from their placements for a variety of reasons and whilst the number of children who do go missing from care in Redbridge is not high, it is our responsibility to make sure that number is as low as possible.
A report made earlier this year revealed that there were 46 incidents of children going missing in care last year and a total of 13 children went missing when they were placed in care outside the borough.
The council, which will receive £82,000, makes up a third of the partnership and will be represented by a social worker who will visit care homes regularly with a police officer and a Barnado’s worker, to help identify improvements that could be made.
Redbridge Police Deputy Borough Commander, Mandy Beacher, said: “I am grateful that we have received this funding and am looking forward to working with our partners from the local authority and Barnardo’s.
“The funding will enable us to provide additional support to care homes in the Borough and build on the relationships that we have already established.”
It is estimated about £1.1m can be made by reducing the number of children in care who go missing as it will mean more resources will be available within the police and the Children’s Services Department.
The pilot programme will be closely monitored next month to evaluate the likeliness of a long-term partnership.
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