Children’s Rights Director slams care leaving services

Young people fear insufficient support, too little money to live on and becoming homeless when they leave care, according to a report published today by the Children’s Rights Director for England.

Dr Roger Morgan finds a consistent theme of children being unaware of their entitlements with a number of them being misinformed.

A significant number had not been given a say in their own leaving care or pathway plan or contributed to its content. Those who had commented or seen their plan remarked on the lack of attention to housing, social services and continuing education.

“A number of issues raised have seriously concerned me,” said Morgan. “The lack of awareness of leaving care plans and what they should contain is devastating for many care leavers, given that an agreement to this plan is a requirement set out in law, this leads to a lack or preparation and support.”

The report recommends:-

• Young people given greater assurances that they can contact key people such as social workers when necessary

• Social services properly checking out the places they expected young care leavers to live in

• Social workers being more tolerant of young people’s emotions

• Easier ways of dealing with housing benefits.

Morgan concluded: “The care leavers themselves have made a number of recommendations, and I urge those who receive this report to act on the messages within it.”

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