18-year-old says ‘social services just don’t care’

AN Evesham teenager who has lived in foster care for several years has slammed a council’s social services department, accusing it of neglecting her when she needed help most.

Amy Kirby, aged 18, is angry with the level of support provided for her by Warwickshire County Council’s social services department after saying it had effectively made her homeless and then made no attempt to help her find a new place to stay.

Miss Kirby had been living in Honeybourne with her foster mother for two-and-a-half years when she says she “had to move” due to the council lowering the money it gave her foster mother to look after her.

The teenager, who has been in about 30 different placements, gave a scathing assessment of the lack of support provided. “They have been no help whatsoever. They are supposed to come and visit me weekly but they never do,” she said.

“My foster mum has been really good for me over the past two-and-a-half years. She wanted me to stay on in the placement but they have offered her less money to look after me which makes it harder to pay for rent and food.

“They were also supposed to look for a property for me which they didn’t. I had nowhere to go; I was homeless. They have no regard for my feelings. When I was younger it was completely different – they care a lot more. When you get older it seems like they think you can look after yourself.”

Miss Kirby has now found a new home in Evesham and moved in with her partner last week A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said it didn’t comment on individual cases, adding: “The fostering service in Warwickshire has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and payments made to foster carers are in line with those rates recommended by Fostering Network. This has been the case for a number of years and since 2002 foster carers are paid a fee that recognises their skills, competencies and training.”