Specific groups miss out on services

The most disadvantaged groups of care leavers are not receiving
adequate support because of gaps in planning, a coalition of 22
organisations warned this week.

Help for some of the most vulnerable 16-21 year olds, including
disabled teenagers and young offenders, is lagging behind that
provided for other young people leaving the care system, the report
warned. Asylum seekers, young parents and young people who are not
engaged in education or learning are also missing out.

“While there was some progress in joint working with asylum teams,
youth offending teams, disabilities and special needs teams, there
was still some way to go in achieving adequate multi-agency
working,” said the report by the Action on Aftercare coalition.

Overall, the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 has led to an
improvement in support for care leavers as a result of greater
resources and more specialist professionals, said the report.

However, staff feared that there was a danger that leaving care
services could fall down local authorities’ priority lists once
ring-fencing comes to an end in April.

Amanda Allard, chairperson of Action on Aftercare, which includes
NCH, Barnardo’s, the Prince’s Trust and Childline, said the
research was evidence that “the battle for care leavers is
certainly not won”.

– Setting the Agenda: What’s Left To Do in Leaving Care?

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