Children’s social care survey results published

Today we publish our latest children’s social care survey results which explores the views of children in residential care and living away from home, and those of their carers. This year’s survey had more than 49,000 responses, with over 7,000 of those from children – the largest number we’ve ever had.

We use the responses along with other information, such as previous inspection findings or concerns we receive, to decide when to inspect and what to focus on when we do. If any responses to the survey raise serious concerns, we take the appropriate action immediately.

This year, for the second time, we asked children if they felt safe where they live or stay. Over 95% of children said that they felt safe ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’. While positive, this also means that nearly 1 in 20 children regularly feel unsafe where they live or stay.

This year’s survey also asked children about their experiences of the pandemic, and how they felt about the care they were given. And we asked parents whether the restrictions had affected the contact they’d had with their children.

A lot of children said that they would like COVID-19 to ‘go away’, but they also said that they had been helped to adjust to the restrictions by the people who cared for them.

Other findings from this year’s surveys include:

  • 99% of children in foster care who responded to the survey felt safe where they live
  • there was an increase in the number of children in boarding school and in residential accommodation in further education (FE) who felt they were not helped to do well with their school or college work
  • children frequently said that they wished they could stay where they were for longer and that they would not have to move on when they were 18
  • a lower proportion of children in boarding schools and in FE residential accommodation felt they were well cared for compared with the children who lived or stayed elsewhere

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, said:

These surveys are really important, and I want to thank everyone who gave us their views. It’s important to know how children and young people feel about those who support them, and brilliant to see that so many children are happy where they live and with the care that they receive. There is always room for improvement though. We will use this feedback to help us focus our inspections on the things that matter to children.

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