Encouragement from carers key

Encouragement from carers, teachers and social workers is the most
important factor in the educational achievement of looked-after
children, research has found.

A National Children’s Bureau study blames underachievement by
looked-after children on placement instability, the distress of
entering the care system, lack of interest and encouragement –
especially from social workers – and negative stereotyping.

Social workers can play a “positive role” in encouraging young
people but “this appeared to happen relatively rarely”, the report
adds. Carers also said there were difficulties in getting advice
and help on educational issues from social workers.

Most young people in a follow-up section of the study had been in
supportive placements for at least two years and many said that
this level of stability had enhanced their educational

Taking Care of Education: An Evaluation of the Education of
Looked-after Children
available from www.ncb-books.org.uk

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