More than half of children in county council care were placed in homes outside Bucks last year – some moving as far as 100 miles away.

Hundreds of young people also experienced more than one change in social worker in 2016/2017, once again raising questions over the quality of care provided to children in care in Bucks.

Bucks County Council’s (BCC) children’s services came under fire again this year after they were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted for the second time in January.

A government commissioner was subsequently appointed to assess the future of the failing services, and will decide if they need to be handed over to government.

Concerning fiures revealed as part of a Free Press investigation show that 338 of the 651 looked after children in Bucks were placed in care outside of the county.

It is unclear why some children have been placed so far away from the county, however BCC did not respond to a request for comment before going to print.

Many were sent to neighbouring areas including Berkshire and Milton Keynes in 2017 however 20 were placed more than 60 miles away in Northamptonshire, while two were moved to Devon.

A total of 447 children dealt with more than once social worker in 2016/17, while staggering 95 young people changed social workers more than three times in just one year.

Earlier this year the government’s children’s commissioner released the second annual stability index – which scrutinises the number of home moves and social worker changes children in care have across the country.

The commissioner, Anne Longfield, says she regularly hears of children who are “pushed from pillar to post” through the system, “when all they want is to be settled and to build lasting friendships and relationships”.

A council finance report released last week stated placement budgets within the children’s services are already set to be overspent by £1.2 million by the end of this financial year.

BCC is already exploring ways to bring children back into Bucks in a bid to improve the quality of care provided as well as make savings.

Last year the council earmarked £2 million to fund four new children’s homes in Bucks, in a bid to bring more looked after young people into the county for care.

Next week BCC’s cabinet will discuss spending the remaining £1.6 million in the pot on two children’s homes for south Bucks.