A study by Barnardo’s, widely reported today in the papers and BBC, has revealed that vulnerable children are waiting an average of 57 weeks before the family courts decide on their outcome. In some cases the wait is 65 weeks. Often this means that children are left in unstable family homes or emergency foster placements while they wait for the courts rule on whether to take them into care permanently.
This period is far too long and can mean children are left in potentially dangerous situations with their family or denied the long term security and stability by being moved from foster place to foster place. More must be done to speed up the process to ensure that all young people get the chance at a stable and loving childhood.
The Family Commission has looked at vulnerable families and children in care as part of its research. The report, due out in the Autumn, will be setting out recommendations for improving the lives on vulnerable young people, particularly those in care.