Dan Rogerson speaks out on plight of children who go missing or run away from care
A major Parliamentary inquiry has revealed the dangers faced by children in care, who are three times more likely to run away than children living at home.
Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall Dan Rogerson was a key panellist in the Parliamentary inquiry which looked into the thousands of children who run away or go missing from care every year.
The study was organised by the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, and the APPG for Looked After Children and Care Leavers and reported on Monday, 18th June.
Over the past few months, Dan joined a cross party group of MPs to collect evidence from ministers, national agencies, charities and children going missing from care themselves. Listening to their accounts of why they run away, what their experience of care has been and what happened to them when they went missing, left the Inquiry members in no doubt that the current system is not fit for purpose.
The report reveals the shocking extent of systematic failures, the lack of robust data and poor communications between agencies that are supposed to care for some of society’s most vulnerable children.
The Children’s Society estimates that around 800 children go missing in Cornwall each year, and that 3% of looked after children in Cornwall went missing for more than 24 hours in 2010/11.
Commenting, local MP Dan Rogerson said:
“The failings of the care system – and its harrowing consequences for children – have been dominating news stories over the past few months. Children are removed from their parents and placed into care because they are not safe at home. But, as the evidence to the Inquiry showed, when these vulnerable children are in our care we fail to keep them safe.
“What came through loud and clear is that the system needs urgent reform. Our report sets out a number of practical recommendations to ensure that when a child runs away from care they are provided with a genuine safety net.
“We are urging the government to consider these as a priority. As recent cases like Rochdale have exposed, this is not an “if” but a “must”. We cannot afford to allow these systematic failures to continue.”