I'm not a fan of the Daily Mail, but I read it online with a few other morning news sites, and this report says what some of us have found for ourselves about the treatment of vulnerable children when they become difficult to manage teenagers in the care system.
I know an ex-colleague who has opened one such home that will accommodate four teenagers on the verge of leaving care. She won a contract from the local authority and staffs the home using professionals that she knows, with one full-time permanent member of staff and herself there in the daytime. All well and good, but most of these people have full-time jobs already, and will come in to help out on non-working days and during leave, but also in an emergency when a regular member of staff has not reported in. This means a tired worker is showing up, who still needs to squeeze in some sleep before returning to work the next day. It's easy to see how a teenager who wants to slip out unnoticed can pick their moment. Also, they are not mandated to follow the child - that would be tantamount to harrassment - all they can do is report to the police that they don't know the whereabouts of the child. Parents are not always informed when the child is under parental oversight of social services. The child might be in care because of the same behaviour at home, with parents who don't/can't keep close watch on their children.
In probation hostels, there are always two waking members of staff on duty overnight with a manager as back-up, being on-call. In these private care homes and hostels, they only have one member of staff overnight. That worker might be asleep during the night.
The motivation of the person that I know for opening a home for teenagers was money, and the desire to grow a property portfolio. There are many such people doing this now because these local authority contracts are lucrative.
When will they get it? Children need discipline and consistency in concerned homes who want to know what they are doing, where they are, and who they are with. Private homes can report in to their designated social work department, but they won't go beyond what the contract requires them to do, and no contract requires a professional to care about the children and want to protect them from harm, only to report what they are aware of. Mums and dads who go looking for their children would be horrified at the lack of care given in some of these private homes. I'm not saying they are all the same - I belong to a family that includes foster carers and residential social workers and I see the difference.
whenim64 Fri 11-May-12 08:12:17
nelliedeane Fri 11-May-12 08:34:20
nightowl Fri 11-May-12 09:14:30
whenim64 Fri 11-May-12 09:20:19
Mishap Fri 11-May-12 13:54:19
jeni Fri 11-May-12 14:11:49
Greatnan Fri 11-May-12 15:44:18
grannyactivist Fri 11-May-12 18:59:31
jeni Fri 11-May-12 19:28:11
nelliedeane Fri 11-May-12 19:44:51
nightowl Fri 11-May-12 19:51:32
nightowl Fri 11-May-12 19:52:36
nelliedeane Fri 11-May-12 20:07:38
Greatnan Fri 11-May-12 20:12:55
nightowl Fri 11-May-12 20:16:32
nelliedeane Fri 11-May-12 20:18:07
Greatnan Fri 11-May-12 20:44:46
nelliedeane Fri 11-May-12 22:33:50
Greatnan Fri 11-May-12 23:16:48
nelliedeane Sat 12-May-12 10:46:34
Greatnan Sat 12-May-12 11:37:30
Jacey Sat 12-May-12 12:56:18
nelliedeane Sat 12-May-12 13:23:14