Children need a stable placement

February 8, 2021

Unplanned endings

Children need stable placement, yet during 2018-2019, around 5,800 children and young people in placement experienced unplanned endings and almost a third of those were moved within 24 hours. This represents an increase of 6 percent from the previous year, and 10 percent from 2016-2017. There were 115 children who experienced more than one unplanned placement ending within 24 hours during the year. There are echoes in these numbers of our findings reported earlier, here

Practical and emotional impact

Moving home has a huge practical and emotional impact on any young person. They have to move school, leave friends, any extra-curricular clubs they’re part of, and it’s important that all of their personal possessions are moved too. Emotionally they’re not just saying goodbye to a home, but also to people, pets and familiar surroundings. Everything has to start from new again wherever they move to.

Effects of lockdown

Although we don’t know the full results of last year yet, we spoke at length to a residential provider within the Mind Of My Own community. This provider experienced two placement breakdowns last year, which is incredibly unusual for them. In one case a young person with complex learning needs who previously had lived in a home where she had no phone or any free time and was constantly supervised. Moving to live in a group home with other young people of a similar age and with no restrictions impacted on her understanding and her risk taking behaviours increased significantly.

Placement stability

These all help to ensure placement stability:

  • Ensure full information is known prior to placement
  • Ask for detailed information from the previous provider
  • Complete an impact assessment and consider all needs
  • Ensure children and young people are listened to and their views heard
  • Seek out additional resources such as CAMHS advice, emergency duty team (EDT), additional staff or support workers, to try and maintain placement stability.

Mind Of My Own support

Having a range of options and identifying the right placement for each child is key to stability and permanence. Identifying the right placement requires effective assessment and planning and, importantly, listening to the views and wishes of children and young people. Mind of My Own can support organisations attain and evidence those views, wishes and feelings