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National review of care for children in Wales

Our review of the quality of care provided for children living in care homes.

The review, conducted between July 2018 and March 2019, evaluated the quality of care provided.

What we looked at

  • All registered providers undertook a self-assessment of their service;
  • We conducted inspections in 56 registered care homes across Wales focusing on the quality of outcomes for care experienced children;
  • We worked with Voices from Care Cymru to facilitate engagement events across Wales with care experienced children.

Our findings

  • We found that many of the children received good quality support in the homes they were living in.
  • Almost all homes provided a warm, comfortable environment for children to live in and call their home.
  • We found a general commitment to ensure children had positive social and leisure experiences, improving their social skills, which was contributing positively to their overall emotional well-being.


  • We saw an increasing number of children are going missing from care. We made a recommendation to review policies and practice to ensure children are not placed at unnecessary and increased risk of harm, including criminalisation.
  • Providers and local authorities need to ensure there is sufficiency of placements to meet the needs of children and enable them to live close to home.
  • Residential care should be considered as a positive choice for children not as the last option.

Next steps

We are committed to following up the recommendations contained in the report, and will work with others to secure improvements in outcomes for the most vulnerable children and young people in Wales.