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Kids in care in borough at a high
3:20pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
THE number of children in care is at its highest ever in Thurrock.
A Thurrock Council report said the amount of looked after children in the borough this year has risen “significantly”, with 20 more new cases this year compared to 2011.
A total of 247 children were in care in June, compared to 208 in June last year, an increase of 18.75 per cent.
The report added: “The majority of new entrants to the system are children in care proceedings, and this reflects a wider national trend, which indicates a ten per cent rise in new proceedings over the last year.
“It is also a view that the current economic climate is likely to be a contributory factor.”
Cllr James Halden, who sits on the council’s corporate parenting committee and is shadow cabinet member for education and childrens’ skills, said the number of children being taken into care would always fluctuate, but he believed there were things related to care the council should be doing better, adding: “The council has no control over how many children get put into care, but we should be providing more stability for those that are.
“What I am concerned about is that half of looked after children in Thurrock are sent to foster homes outside of the borough.”
Cllr Halden said children are often fostered outside of the borough because the council doesn’t have foster carers with the necessary skills to cater for them.