Lack of accommodation forces Welsh 14-year-old girl to move to south-east England
A judge in Wales has called for media attention to be drawn on the ongoing failings in the Welsh social care system.
Judge Gareth Jones made the comments during a ruling regarding a 14-year-old’s placement whereby the child from North Wales was placed in the south-east of England due to a lack of available accommodation. The girl was then placed into three different bed and breakfast accommodations and is now in an unregistered placement.
Judge Jones has claimed that Wales’s local authorities avoid criticism from mainstream media when compared to England due to it being smaller and because of the lack of criticism from the media local authorities in Wales are “getting away” with their failings.
The judge also called on local authorities in Wales to work together to finance placement for children in Wales when accommodations are full. He stated in his ruling:
“It is not ultimately my responsibility to make those arrangements. I am part of the judiciary. I am not part of the public administration so far as government is concerned, but I make this plea as an individual judge who has been responsible for many cases involving the care of children in North Wales for many years. The current situation is unsatisfactory. It needs to be resolved as swiftly as possible.
So far as the Family Court is concerned, I have nothing to fear from scrutiny. I have no desire to operate in a situation where the public is ignorant of what is going on so far as North Wales is concerned.
It is other public authorities who largely adopt defensive positions in that regard. The Family Court has no interest whatsoever in maintaining secrecy to prevent what is a generally appreciated to be a scandal from being made more generally known.”