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New children’s care homes are being disproportionately placed in cheaper and more deprived parts of England, according to an Observer investigation. .

Over the past five years the number of children’s care homes located in areas with the cheapest house sale prices has risen almost three times faster than in the most expensive places. Among the regions with big increases in homes was the north-west, including in parts of Blackpool and Burnley and other northern cities such as Bradford. Children’s services directors warned that the trends were driven by the “blatant profiteering” of private care providers, targeting cheap housing and local labour.

So things should not be provided where they’re cheaper to provide then?

That’s the very idea of trade buggered then, isn’t it?

Of course, what this really is is council kiddies services being pissed at the idea that they don’t get empires to run, they just sign cheques.

11 thoughts on “Umm, yes?”

  1. There is a problem, though. Those neighbours who have to put up with the local crime waves associated with such places will be those who are already getting the shitty end of the stick.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    There is a certain macabre logic to placing care homes in locations of high diversity and vibrancy so that the hapless inmates can provide “children’s services” in exchange for narcotics in the interests of racial harmony.

  3. targeting cheap housing and local labour.

    It would be better if they built all children’s homes in Woodstock in Oxfordshire, and used labour from other planets.

  4. Surely they should be cheering the care home operators for creating jobs in deprived areas? And, aren’t there likely to be more children in need of care in these areas?

    The main downside of siting care homes in places like Bradford is the increased risk that the kids will get raped by the local vibrant Muslim community.

  5. Can anyone honestly deny that the proportion of children needing “care” is higher in “more deprived” areas than in the wealthiest areas? The rich can hire nannies if they find looking after their children is any trouble.

  6. That’s strange, Julia. Given the iPhone demographic one would expect Elton to auto correct to Eton.

  7. Something Must Be Done.

    As ever I offer a constructive thought. Children’s care homes should consist of tents on Hampstead Heath. The woke people dwelling thereabouts would then welcome the wee mites into their own houses to spare them from the cold. Some might even foster them or adopt them.

    An elegant solution, if I do say so myself.

  8. @ dearieme
    Except that the “woke” people living in Hampstead and Islington would instead pass legislation forcing *other* people living in Finchley or Winchmore Hill (but not Bishop’s Avenue) to welcome the poor mites into their homes.

  9. The Observer’s agenda is to find something negative to say about private companies operating care homes. Anything will do. If they were built in posher locations, the criticism would be that the care home operators were starving the deprived areas of facilities

  10. The complaint here is that the provision of care homes should be sufficiently distributed so that when a child is taken into care they can continue to live in the same general area so they don’t lose their friends and are likely to be able to maintain contact with family. This complaint is based on the government’s Independent review of children’s social care by Josh MacAlister which was published on 23rd May 2022, so hardly news.

    That review makes interesting reading. On p. 158 it complains about profiteering. Of course that is vulnerable to the standard response which is that if the profits are really so vast, why don’t more people enter the market and bring the price down (the answer may, of course, be that rules and regulations provide too high a barrier to entry). But the best bit is on the very next page where it complains: “Local authorities have a legal duty to plan for the homes that children in care might need, in the form of what is called a “sufficiency duty”. However, 44% of local authorities fail to publish their sufficiency strategy (the document setting out how they plan to meet this duty)”. So the complaint is that the private sector is very bad, the public sector is even worse, and the solution is to shift away from the bad private sector to something closer to the public sector (more regulations or non-profit operators or something like that).

    Why is it so common that people look at one alternative, find something bad, and immediately conclude that we should do something else without checking if that is worse?

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