A lack of supply of specialist children’s home places is leading to bidding wars between councils and escalating prices, MPs have heard. At a House of Commons public accounts committee session MPs heard from two directors of children’s services on the increasing costs to find suitable places for children with complex problems who need specialist residential care. Cath McEvoy-Carr, executive director of children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said that although its children in care population had fallen it is facing mounting costs due to a lack of local supply of specialist support for children with complex needs. This is forcing the council to look beyond its boundaries and enter into bidding wars with other local authorities in the search of suitable placements. Read more.