Teenagers placed at risk of criminal and sexual exploitation by “fundamental” failures in the children’s social care system deserve a “brand-new offer”, a study has concluded. The report from the Commission on Young Lives, chaired by ex-children’s commissioner Anne Longfield, argued that while many children benefit from going into care, adolescents are too often let down by “piecemeal, uncoordinated and underfunded” services. Black boys are at particular danger both of being criminally exploited and of being treated as offenders rather than victims, it warned.
The research highlighted sharp rises in the numbers of teenagers in care – with adolescents accounting for 27% of proceedings in 2019-20, up from 18% a decade ago – and exploitation risks associated with out-of-borough residential placements and unregulated provision. Read more.