Panorama research exposes ‘worrying’ standards of care in children’s homes

New research carried out by the investigate journalism programme Panorama has uncovered ‘worrying’ standards of care in some children’s homes in England.

In a recent report, Panorama claimed that one in four children in residential care is living in a home that has either been rated ‘inadequate’ or simply ‘adequate’.

Programme makers used Freedom of Information requests to find out about standards in 134 councils which manage children’s care services in England. A total of 87 councils responded to the request, but only 16 could say that all of their children were in homes rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding.

Both the government and a charity representing children have responded to the Panorama report. Natasha Finlayson, who is the Chief Executive of the Who Cares? Trust, said:

“I think those local authorities need to be held to account,”
“They need to explain why they think that’s acceptable for those children.”

Meanwhile, the government has pledged that it will work with Ofsted to make sure that ‘good’ becomes the acceptable minimum standard for residential care homes. This may involve a complete overhaul of the way children’s care homes are run, or it may simply need improved standards of care training for care staff.