With a recent Observer investigation finding that more than 100 privately run children’s homes in England have been branded inadequate by inspectors, Spurgeons CEO Ian Soars responds to the news that children’s homes are failing in their duty of care to vulnerable young people.
‘Our charity was founded when Charles Haddon Spurgeon set up orphanages and homes where vulnerable children who had been failed by society could grow up in love and safety. We operated children’s homes until the 1970s when the State took over that responsibility; instead Spurgeons’ focused on supporting children and their families within the community.
‘But times change. Today, 80,000 children are in children’s homes, most of which are now run by private firms.
‘Recently, multiple failures in this care have come to light; a BBC News Investigation found 120 children had been placed in unregulated homes. Ofsted said local authorities faced ‘significant challenges’ in finding the right homes. An Observer investigation found that more than 100 privately run children’s homes in England have been branded inadequate by inspectors. Josh MacAlister, who chaired a government backed independent review of children’s social care, noted that “…The review found that the ‘market’ of care for children is broken. Profiteering, children being moved far from their communities and a shortage of homes that meet children’s needs are all urgent problems which need fixing.”
I was recently privileged to attend a joyful reunion of our Old Scholars, who grew up in the children’s homes Spurgeons used to operate.
After an opening prayer and welcoming talk, the air was swiftly filled with laughter as old friends got reacquainted and reminiscing among the old photos and artifacts.
It reminded me that children’s homes can be safe places of love and compassion where vulnerable children can truly thrive.”
You can read more about the reunion and watch a short video of testimonials from Spurgeons Old Scholars, here.
Spurgeons Old Scholars
Old Scholars are those supporters who spent some of their childhood living at Spurgeons Children’s Homes in Birchington and Reigate.
We encourage alumni to keep in touch with us and share their memories.
To read more about our heritage and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, click here.