Out of Area Care Placements
Out of Area placements are an option available to children’s social care to place children, that are in the care of the local authority, in a setting away from their home.
They are often implemented as an attempt to safeguard children from threats such as child sexual exploitation, serious youth violence and criminal exploitation. However, moving a child far away from their family and support can have a detrimental impact on both their emotional wellbeing and relational safety – and in some cases place them at further physical risk.
VKPP will shortly be releasing a spotlight briefing on out of area care placements for children that have experienced extra-familial harm. The briefing adopts the same style as previous publications on child criminal exploitation and structural inequality – aimed at being as accessible as possible to officers and staff.
The briefing draws on learning from the Contextual Safeguarding Network as well as several serious case reviews where children moved away from their home authority came to harm.
As with previous publications, the briefing focuses on police practice, with points for consideration for forces and officers throughout the process of a child being placed out of area, from the decision to move the child, addressing the issues which led to the move and ensuring the safe return of the child.
The briefing also contains examples of promising practice involving forces and partners as well as links to useful documents and resources relating to the safeguarding of children placed out of area.