Darryl was taken into care after being found living with his disabled father in a state of severe neglect. Having slipped through the net for over a year, nothing was known about the boy when he went into foster care, however he soon started showing disturbing behaviour that put other children in the foster home at risk. Darryl's journey in the care system exposed him to further harm and some levels of systemic abuse. Questions were raised as to whether he should have been left at home with support, others concluded he was already so damaged there was little that could be done. How could Darryl have been helped? Check out our social work values page here.Back More
Recent figures state that in the UK there are 95,837 children in care with 73% of those children living in foster care, 11% living in children's homes (including secure accommodation) or semi-independent living with the rest being placed for adoption. Over a third of these children come into the care system before they reach the age of five years old with a further 28% beging taken into care from the ages of ten to fifteen. Despite planning many of these children remain in care for more than five years and a number face three or more placement changes each year, just like Clynton in the novel 'Forces at Work'. Every placement change makes it harder for children in care to buy into any new placement and inevitable educational and relationship outcomes deteriorate over time with many former children in care finding it hard to develop sustainable and meaningful relationships in adult life.