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Social services failure puts 5,000 children back in care each year

NSPCC report calls for action to prevent half of all family reunifications ending in return to care system

Added Date: Today

Half of all children reunited with their families after leaving the care system end up returning to it, according to research that suggests a failure to support them is costing the taxpayer £300m a year.

Research by the Centre for Child and Family Research at Loughborough University on behalf of the NSPCC finds that 10,000 children a year are returned home from care. But almost half of these reunifications break down, with the children returned to care. The charity warns that, far too often, children are not provided with support to remain safely at home, and calculates that £300m is spent each year rehousing them.

Leanne, who ran away from home because of her mother's drinking, is a typical case, according to the NSPCC. On going home after foster care, she found herself trapped. "I gave it a chance, but things with mum got worse and worse," Leanne said. "She was drinking again, we had constant arguments and the flat was filthy. I felt isolated, but when I left messages for my ...
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