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Young People: Care Homes

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will discuss with the Secretary of State for Health the matter of the security of young people in local authority care homes. (295521)

DCSF are responsible for all policies relating to children's homes. All children's homes must comply with regulations and National Minimum Standards. These require that premises must be fit and suitable for achieving the homes statement of purpose. Every home must be secure from unauthorised access. This could include for example using electronic surveillance to monitor those who enter and leave the premises or having ground floor windows that can only be opened part way.

Where a local authority looks after a child, including those that may have been trafficked, then they are responsible for identifying a placement that will be appropriate to meeting their needs, including their need to be kept safe from any likely harm.

On 1 July 2009, we published new ‘Statutory Guidance on children who run away and go missing from home or care’. This sets out the measures local authorities must take whenever a child that they look after goes missing from their care placement and includes specific information about managing support for especially vulnerable groups of looked after children—such as those asylum seeking children who may have been trafficked into the UK.