Last year, CASCADE researchers conducted an Evidence Review to explore the impact of for-profit and not-for-profit delivery of children’s foster care and residential care on outcomes for care-experienced and looked-after children. The Evidence Review was authored by Dr Jonathan Ablitt, Dr Patricia Jimenez and Professor Sally Holland.

The report has been published on the Welsh Government website, and coincides with the introduction of a new Bill on the 20th May by the Welsh Government to remove private profit from the care of looked-after children.

Lead author of the report, Dr Jonathan Ablitt, said: “We’re pleased that CASCADE research has contributed to the evidence base for this proposed policy. While this is an under-researched area, we found some strong evidence that children in the UK are more likely to be placed outside of their local area under a for-profit system. We also found associations between for-profit provision and poor placement quality, placement stability and continuity. It is hoped that our identification of the gaps in the existing literature will consolidate further research on profit-making in social care and ultimately help shape policies that will improve outcomes for looked-after children.”

Dawn Bowden, Minister for Social Care, commented that the Bill “will ensure public money is used to deliver improved services which meet children’s needs and deliver better experiences and outcomes. It will also enable direct payments for continuing healthcare so people can decide for themselves who provides the care they need.”

Read more on this announcement from the Welsh Government.