One in five children in care feel things have gotten worse for them and others in care according to the government’s stocktake of progress on the Care Matters white paper.
The figures come from a conference of children in care coordinated by the Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan, and contained in a report Children’s messages to the Minister. It showed that while 46% of children in care felt things were getting slightly better, 31% said nothing had changed and 20% felt their situation had worsened. Just over 60% said they had been discriminated against because they were in care.
The conference also showed that children rated councils poorly when it came to helping children in care get good jobs and making sure children in care made a good contribution to the community. Nearly two-thirds (65%) felt councils should be making monthly visits to children in care.
The Department for Children’s Schools and Families admitted that some children in care were still being moved three or four times a year and too many care leavers were still living in unsuitable accommodation or were unemployed.
It promised to step in when councils receive an “inadequate” rating from Ofsted for assessments, placements, educational attainment for children in care and supporting care leavers into accommodation and employment.
All local authorities will need to have a Children in Care council in place next year and independent reviewing officers will now ensure care plans record children’s views, how local authorities intend to take these into account and include education plans.