The Big Question – 19 October

Should young people have a veto on leaving care until they are 18 as the new green paper recommends?

KIERRA BOX – Young people’s activist
Young people in care shouldn’t just be entitled to the minimum standards of parenting. They also need the chance to build up relationships with others, feel safe, and develop themselves as individuals. The veto is a move back towards letting young people grow up at their own rate rather than have that defined by the state.

LEN SMITH – Gypsy activist
I feel it is particularly important for young people to have control of their life chances, especially those who have been in care and have probably felt less in control than other young people. The proposed veto would be an important tool for choice in my view. I also like the idea of social work practices for foster care, if they were set up as “dropin” surgeries.

JEAN STOGDON – Grandparents Plus
We all know our own kids keep coming back for some “TLC” as they grow up. I have known some young people coming out of care who have returned regularly to their foster parents because they feel some warmth and affection. But this is the exception rather than the rule, I’m afraid. So, yes, I feel they should have a veto.

ANGIE LAWRENCE – Single mother
Young people in care should be given the same opportunities as other children. They should be able to stay in care until at least the age of 18. Very few young people can seriously care for themselves and live independently before this age. Longterm care would also encourage them to spend longer in education and boost their prospects.

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