One in four children receiving social care do not know what an advocate is, according to a survey by Ofsted.
The 2008 Children’s Care Monitor also found that a further 16% do not know how to access one.
Since 2004, local authorities have had to provide advocacy services for all looked-after children and children in need if they wish to make a complaint.
The respondents were among more than 900 young people living away from home or receiving services, aged five to 22, who took part in an online survey.
Less than three-quarters of children in care said they had a care plan. Of those children with a care plan only 73% knew what was in it and a quarter felt they did not have any say in it.
The 2008 Children’s Care Monitor, by Roger Morgan, Ofsted’s children’s rights director for England, also showed that three out of every five children in foster homes or care leavers felt they were asked their opinion, along with over half of children in children’s homes. However, the latter group were the least likely to feel their views would make a difference (41%).
Placement satisfaction was higher among children in foster care, with 91% believing they were in the right placement, compared to 63% in children’s homes.
Overall, 67% felt the standard of care was very good.
More than one in 10 children in children’s homes said they were often or always bullied, with the most common forms of abuse being threats or having their property taken or damaged.
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