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Reasons why Children go into Care

Samantha Gittins

This leaflet is about the different reasons why children go into care, It provides the different experiences from other people who have been placed into care due to either family problems or physical problems within themselves. It will also be discussing The Children's Act 1989/2004 and covering the differences of section 20 and section 31. The purpose of this task is to educate the reader that children’s behaviour is not always the case of why children do go into care. “ 51,850 children were living with foster families on 31 March 2016.”


However, the Section 20 is about when the parent are still completely in control of the child’s responsibilities even though they go into a care group, children can just visit a children’s care home once or twice a week, for example Joe aged 14 has learning difficulties and his mum find him hard work to look after all day everyday. Joe starts to attend the children’s care home twice a week, this helps his mum relieve the stress from looking after him all the time it makes their relationship bond better. This was an example of the Section 20 of The Children’s Act 1989/2004.

Firstly i will be discussing The Children’s Act 1989/2004 this is set to provide children the safety they need within the environment that they live in, the local authority have to check weather it is safe for the child to proceed to live in the environment they are in. if the environment is not a safe and the child is at risk they will take the child to care this is know as the “looked after”. For example Faye is 16, she lives in a small village where everyone knows everyone, it’s known as a rough town. She doesn’t enjoy living there as her mum drinks more than she should. Faye feels like it’s her responsibility to provide for her little sister Laila, she has to make her food, wash her clothes, take her out, and put her to bed as her mum only goes to work 4 hours a day and wastes her earnings on alcohol. Faye doesn’t know what to do as she’s lived this life for so long. Social services are looking into her house as neighbours had started to realise that something is wrong, later on that week they come along and take Faye and her sister for a chat they can see something is wrong so Faye tells them all about her life at home. Social services get Faye and Laila removed from the house as the can see and have been told it’s not safe they are now “looked after children” and have been placed in a very loving family and a safe environment. This example is based on the Section 31 route as the mother was unhealthy to look after the children and her responsibility did not matter because of this.

The Children's Act 1989/2004

However, the parents can also have some reasons of why their children my go into care. The environment of the home can affect the child’s life of living with the unhealthy family for example, drugs and alcohol can affect as the local authority would check the welfare of the child and the atmosphere at home, if the environment of the child’s home was not suitable the child would be taken to care and maybe be placed into a happy loving healthy environmental family. Suspected or actual maltreatment can have a massive effect on a child’s life it can stop them from going out but also affect them emotionally, abuse towards a child is very common, for example many single mothers start seeing a single male and producing a relationship with this male, the male abuses the child making the child begin to be secretive and distancing themselves from their family but the mother wouldn’t take notice or suspect anything. Time would pass and the child would soon come to tell someone and then the police would be informed and would approach the family home. As they would accuse the male of abuse or sexual abuse the mother would not believe the child, the male would also deny the accusation and the male would stay and the child would be taken away from the family. Another reason would be bereavement or upheaval, if the child’s parents did die then the child would be left with no one to look after them and it’s up to the local authority to place the child into someone else’s suitable care.

There are many different reasons why children go into care and sometimes its their own fault but maybe they don’t even realise it for example, going back to the story about Joe and his learning difficulties he doesn’t know what he’s capable of and doesn’t understand some things that he does, he may not know his own strength. For this reason it may be hard to be a parent of this child and he could have behavioural issues making it not easy for his parents therefore he may be taken into care as he is a risk to the rest of the family. Most people see children going into care because they are rebellious, this is true but it’s not always the case. A child having health problems can also be a reason as again the parents may not be able to cope and the child may need special medication or equipment that may not be able to be provided at the environment of the home, this can also link with children with physical difficulties.

Children related reasons

Parental related reasons


I think it is more beneficial that the children do go into care as it stops having the children at risk of harm, it also stops some of the parents from the harmful things they are doing to their body’s e.g. drinking, drugs. It makes them realise how they have affected the children's lives. With support from these kinds of services it helps the families get support they need to keep the children at home like different kinds of one on one therapy sessions can be arranged to reduce the pressure off the children or parents.

R Lawrence,(07/09/17), Fostering Statistics. Available at: [20/09/17]