English councils pay £1m per child for places in private children’s homes

The Guardian has reported that councils in England are paying more than £1m a year for a single place in privately run children’s homes, with operators citing the cost of living crisis as a reason for raising their prices, the Guardian has learned.

Private providers have been accused of making “obscene” profits out of some of society’s most vulnerable children, as local authorities reveal they are being quoted as much as £50,000 a week (£2.6m a year) for one child.

Children with complex needs – such as having received death threats, behavioural problems, autism spectrum disorders or being a danger to themselves or others – may require supervision from staff with specialist training, or numerous carers.  A local authority in the north-east told the Guardian it had “very reluctantly” paid £18,500 a week (£962,000 a year) for one child, while Liverpool council revealed it was paying £780,000 a year for a child who needs three carers.

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