New Reforms To Aid Children In Care
Wide-ranging proposals to improve the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable children are set to be announced by the Government. Education Secretary Alan Johnson is expected to say the state must focus on becoming a better proxy parent to the youngsters it is looking after when he launches the green paper Children in Care.
Underpinning the reforms in the consultation document is the need to improve the quality, range and choice of care so that the system “does what it says on the tin”, the Cabinet Minister will say.
Better emotional and financial support for people who leave institutions is also expected to be part of the package to help them make the transition to adulthood with the stability they need.
A damning report published last month said that out of the 6,000 people who leave care every year, 75% (4,500) will have no educational qualifications and within two years 50% will be unemployed, while 20% (1,200) will be homeless.
Just one out of every 100 will make it to university.
NCH, the children’s charity which works with more youngsters in care than any other, called on Friday for radical reform of the system to address the stark gap in the achievements and lifestyle between children in care and others.
Mr Johnson has already pledged an extra £100 annually per child for those who spend a year in care, and the establishment of a national £2,000 bursary for each student to help them go to university.
Other measures being announced will centre on more tailored support in schools to ensure a good education for all children in care, steps to give them greater stability in foster and residential homes and plans to enable youngsters to remain with their carers once they reach 16 if they want to.