Ministers turn down action on B&Bs

B&B, bed and breakfast, children, care leavers

The government has rejected a proposition from MPs which would ban the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for care leavers.

The news came in response to a number of recommendations made by the Commons Education Select Committee, which were published in July. The ban on B&Bs being used for young people leaving care was one of those recommendations.

The Department for Education (DfE) admitted that B&Bs are “not suitable accommodation” for children under 18 and that no child should be placed in one.

However, the proposed ban was refused as the DfE said there was “potential risk” in such a step. If the ban were to be enforced, “situations may arise in which there is no emergency accommodation available for a young person”.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) and the Local Government Association (LGA) argued that a ban would “an unnecessarily blunt instrument”.

Despite rejecting the ban, the DfE said that “placements in B&Bs should be exceptional and limited to no more than two working days”.

Graham Stuart, chair of the Education Committee, welcomed the government’s pledge to limit the time children spend in this type of accommodation but expressed disappointment that “ministers have refused to start talks with local authorities on how to ban the use of B&Bs altogether”.

In May, a children’s charity told the Committee that local authorities should stop using B&Bs to house young people leaving care. A few months later, a director of Bernardo’s said children were leaving care into “awful” conditions when they were placed into bed and breakfast accommodation.

Photo by Daniel Carlbom via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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