A 12-YEAR-OLD child in care was illegally placed on a caravan site for weeks more than 100 miles away from the county, it has been revealed.

The boy, who is under the care of Worcestershire County Council, was sent to a caravan site in Lancashire.

Councils are breaking the law by placing under-16s in unregistered care homes and it is illegal for care companies to run such facilities – although some exemptions exist for holidays.

Worcestershire Children First, which runs child’s services on behalf of the county council, said the boy was placed on the unregulated campsite as a “crisis” measure.

Tina Russell, chief executive of Worcestershire Children First, said: “Keeping children in our care as stable and settled as possible in a placement is a real priority for us as we recognise the negative impact a breakdown in placement and loss of stability can have on the wellbeing of the child involved.

“Where the placement ends and there is no alternative provision available, a crisis situation arises. We only ever use unregulated provision where a crisis situation arises there is absolutely no alternative provision available. In this situation, we do our utmost to ensure the child is extensively supported by our team whilst we continue with daily extensive searches until a matched, regulated and registered placement becomes available.”

The boy, who was under the care of Worcestershire County Council, was placed in a caravan on a Lancashire campsite more than 100 miles away from his school and siblings including his brother who has been in a stable foster placement for a number of years.

According to the investigation by the BBC, the 12-year-old boy had been moved between a number of children’s homes before his most recent one closed at short notice because of staffing issues.

He was then moved into a caravan run by Wigan-based crisis and emergency placement provider Bear Care Services which boasts “luxury” motor homes and ‘crisis’ barges.