looked after children

As the main body for independent and voluntary providers, the Independent Children's Homes Association (ICHA) is as anxious as everyone else to increase standards and the quality of safeguarding in children's homes. ICHA membership means abiding by our code of practice.
There are around 70,000 children in the UK care system, and their failure to succeed academically is well reported. Only 15% get more than 5 A*-C grades at GCSE level and just 7% get as far as higher education.
The Government can count on members of the Independent Children's Homes Association to co-operate enthusiastically as it implements reforms in the residential child care sector protecting and promoting the interests of vulnerable looked after children. The ICHA has long urged action and sought allies in pursuit of these goals.
A new protocol between Ofsted, police, local authorities and the Office of the Children's Commissioner on sharing information about children's homes gives opportunity to a new good-faith collaboration characterised by transparency.
Going missing can be a symptom of issues in need of attention. A message from the young person has not been picked up, communication has broken down. We need to understand what it is that this young person is telling us now and probably has been trying to tell us for some time.
It is right that attention has been drawn to things that need fixing in children's homes. There is no complacency in the sector. However, it is quite another thing to say we should have concerns about all children's homes everywhere, or even about their existence at all.
Children's homes can provide the upbringing a young people deserves. Opportunities struggled for and achieved despite a system that actively undermines such success deserves national public recognition. Imagine the self-esteem that would be shared by young people and staff. Imagine the change in public perception.