Child Trust Fund boost for children in care

Looked-after children will have an extra £100 invested in their Child Trust Fund every year while those who reach university will receive a £2,000 bursary, the education secretary said yesterday.

Alan Johnson told the Labour conference that the proposals would be included in next month’s looked-after children green paper.

Johnson’s speech confirms comments last week from Treasury minister Ed Balls that looked-after children would receive extra help through the Child Trust Fund.

Currently, all children have £500 paid into their fund when they enter care while those looked after on their seventh birthday receive a further £500 then. The extra £100 will be invested for every year a child spends in care and should cost around £6m a year.

Johnson made a scathing critique of the current state of corporate parenting in his speech.

“Instead of bringing them up, we let them down: bouncing them from one location to the next; dumping them in the worst schools and forcing them to fend for themselves from the tender age of 16.”

This backs up reports in Community Care that there will be a presumption in the green paper that children remain in care beyond 16.

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