Children In Care To Have More Say About Their Future

The government announced a bill to improve services for vulnerable children and young people in today’s Queen’s speech.

The government wants children in care to have the same aspirations as their peers, more stability and for them to improve their school life and educational attainment.

To this end, the bill will reform the statutory framework for the care system to make sure that children and young people receive high quality care and support. The idea is also to focus on children’s needs in improving the way services are delivered.

The bill will give a group of pilot local authorities the power to test a different model of organising social care – by commissioning services from ‘social work practices’ and enabling regulation of these practices.

It will also place more emphasis on transparent, quality care planning and making sure the child’s voice is heard when important decisions that affect their future are taken.

It will give schools greater capacity to address the needs of children in care, including placing the role of the designated teacher on a statutory footing. And children in care will not move schools in GCSE years, except in exceptional circumstances.

The bill will also look to ensure that young people up to the age of 18 are not forced out of care before they are ready, by giving them a greater say over moves to independent living and ensuring they keep getting support and guidance up to the age of 25.

The quality and stability of placements for children in care will be improved by restricting out of authority placements, securing higher placement standards and ensuring that children in care and custody are visited regularly.