‘Dysfunctional’ care market needs overhaul to tackle high prices and scarce placements, says watchdog

The ‘dysfunctional’ children’s social care market needs an overhaul to tackle high prices, scarce placements and provider debt levels, the competition watchdog has said. Following a year-long review, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) called for national and regional bodies to be set up to help councils find the right placements for children, get better value for taxpayers and reduce out-of-area provision. It said this would strengthen councils’ weak bargainning position relative to providers, a result of competition between authorities for placements and the scarcity of suitable options to meet the unique needs of individual children, often in a hurry. Read more.

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