“The CMA has confirmed our recent findings that private equity providers are making extremely high profits and carrying concerning levels of debt that risks the stability of homes for children in care, which is paramount if they are to thrive."
Responding to a report by the Competition and Markets Authority on children’s social care, which outlines significant concerns about the availability of placements and profits of private providers, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“This report reflects the concerns we have been raising for some years. As we made clear in our response to the Competition and Markets Authority study, while we believe a mixed market of provision of homes for children can be positive, our members are increasingly concerned about the balance of provision, in particular the growth and market share of the very largest providers which limits councils’ ability to manage the market and ensure the availability of placements to meet the needs of the children they care for.
“The CMA has confirmed our recent findings that private equity providers are making extremely high profits and carrying concerning levels of debt that risks the stability of homes for children in care, which is paramount if they are to thrive. We continue to call for oversight of the market to avoid a ‘Southern Cross situation’ in children’s social care and to ensure the quality of provision.
“We are increasingly hearing of harrowing cases where suitable homes cannot be found for children, including those with complex needs, who desperately need help; this is unacceptable and as a country, we must do better. This cannot wait for the outcome of this review and we urge the Government to work with us to urgently address these challenges.
“We look forward to working with the CMA and the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care as they both develop solutions to ensure homes are available for thousands of children who deserve the best possible homes where they feel loved and are able to thrive."