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government plans to end ‘export trade’ of children

3 July 2012

Nearly half of all children in care homes (46%) are in ‘out of borough placements’, placing them at greater risk of running away and also falling prey to sexual exploitation. Government plans published today aim to make out of borough placements more difficult in an attempt to combat the exploitation of children by gangs.

In order to effectively challenge this problem the government will need to ensure that local authorities have the facilities to provide safe, nurturing care homes within their boundaries, eliminating the need to ‘export’ children.

However, these plans will only go part of the way to dealing with this problem; Barnardo’s state that 31% of children looked after through its sexual exploitation service were in care. While children in care are overrepresented in the sexual exploitation figures, the majority affected are looked after within the family home and plans are needed to address this issue alongside plans to improve conditions for those in care.

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