Government should set up trust fund for care leavers

The government should consider introducing trust funds for care
leavers, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research,
writes Lauren Revans.

The influential left-of-centre think tank argues that allowing
care leavers to accumulate an asset would enable them to cope
better with the difficult transitional stage to adulthood and make
them feel more valued as citizens, as well as offering them
additional financial support.

The paper says there are dangers that children who have spent
time in care will not benefit as much as other children from the
proposed child trust fund initiative, announced by the government
in April 2001, which is due to be implemented before the next
general election.

Under the initiative, all new-born babies will be provided with
an account and a ‘baby-bond’. Children and their families will then
save into the account, and the fund will accumulate until the child
has access to the money at 18.

But the IPPR believes that limited parental contact and reduced
on-going involvement in the account means children in care will end
up with a smaller asset when they turn 18.

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