A mother who has seen her suicidal 12-year-old daughter shuttled between placements and then held in a locked and windowless hospital room says she is frightened for her child’s life.
Since going into care in Staffordshire nine months ago, Becky (not her real name) has attempted to take her own life on several occasions. Her case throws fresh light on the chronic nationwide shortage of secure accommodation for vulnerable children.
“I am constantly told there is nowhere for her,” said her mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. “I fear I’ll soon be arranging her funeral due to the systemic failings in health and social care.”
Becky has been alone in a locked hospital room since 27 January. The room has no window or access to the outdoors, no furniture except for a bed, and she is permitted no belongings. All human contact is conducted through a hatch.
The child’s court-appointed guardian told the high court at a hearing to discuss Becky’s case that she considered “the risk to Becky’s life to be catastrophic”.
Source: The Guardian, 7 February 2023
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