Returning home from care
What's best for children
This NSPCC report examines the issues around children returning home from care. It looks at how we can address the problems of reunification and outlines innovative new approaches to support children returning home from care and protect them from harm.
The most common outcome for children leaving care is to return home to a parent or relative.
Research shows that around half of children who come into care because of abuse or neglect suffer further abuse if they return home, with up to half of those returning to care.
This report highlights NSPCC recommendations to central and local government to improve outcomes for children returning home from care. These include:
- publishing data about the outcomes for children who return home from care in order to increase transparency and improve performance
- improving the support available to children, young people and their families prior to and following a return home, to tackle problems such as drug or alcohol dependency, domestic violence, mental health conditions and poor parenting
- revising the monitoring arrangements following a child’s return home from care to ensure that they are provided with the support they need
- ensuring that outcomes for children who return home from care are central to performance assessments
- ensuring that children’s views and best interests are central to decisions about returning home from care.
The report also includes information on new NSPCC approaches to practice in four key areas of reunification: assessment, decision making, planning and monitoring. Find out more about NSPCC services for looked after children
.Please cite as: NSPCC (2012) Returning home from care: what's best for children. London: NSPCC.
Contact the NSPCC Information Service for specialist information on looked after children or any child protection topic