News 2021: 10 items (Looked after children)

22/09/2022: PCCs urged to step up support for care-experienced young people

Less than a quarter of police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales have pledged to protect children and young people with care-experience, new research shows. Analysis of 43 police and crime plans currently in place, carried out by youth advocacy service NYAS, finds that just 10 contain commitments to support care-experienced children “despite children in care being 15 times more likely to be criminalised than other children”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

08/09/2022: Foster carer recruitment appeal launches amid surge in demand

Barnardo’s has launched an appeal for more foster carers after revealing demand for its fostering services has risen by more than a quarter over the last 12 months.

Read: Children and Young People Now

07/09/2022: Call for independent visitor scheme to be extended to age 25

Independent visitors, who offer emotional support to looked-after children, should be made available to all those with experience of care until they are 25, according to the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS).

Read: Children and Young People Now

01/09/2022: DfE appoints MacAlister to advise on care review implementation

The Department for Education has appointed Josh MacAlister to advise on the implementation of the children’s social care review that he led. It is paying MacAlister £32,000 for six months’ work, with the role having started on 1 June 2022, shortly after the care review reported, and running until 3o November. However, the contract for the work was formally awarded at the end of July and published by the government last month.

Read: Community Care

28/08/2022: ‘Providers can charge what they want’: how Merseyside council paid £50k a week to house vulnerable child

Margaret Harvey, the cabinet member for children’s services in Knowsley, Merseyside, said she reacted with “absolute horror” when told the local authority was going to have to pay almost £50,000 a week for one child’s placement earlier this year.

Read: Guardian

24/08/2022: Nationwide fostering support group launches

Fostering Associations from across the UK have formed a national consortium to better coordinate support and guidance for carers. The National Fostering Association Consortium also aims to ensure the skills and qualifications of foster carers are better recognised in the care sector.

Read: Children and Young People Now

22/08/2022: Charity helping care leavers bridge gap to adulthood

Every year in Wales about 500 young people fall out of the formal care system on reaching the age of 18. It means from that moment they are treated as adults, so no longer necessarily receive the support they had each day as children. Many feel ill-prepared for adult life and find the prospect of supporting themselves overnight as “scary”.

Read: BBC

22/08/2022: Welsh Government consulting on eliminating profit-making provision for children in care

Independent provider bodies claim plans risk ‘serious’ negative impact on looked-after children, while BASW gives ‘full’ backing to ending profits but says investing in more social workers will be crucial to policy’s success

Read: Community Care

15/08/2022: Gym group launches free membership for care-experienced young people

A national gym group has launched a new membership offering free access to activities for children in care and those with care experience. Everyone Active’s Cared For programme aims to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of children and young people with experience of the care system as part of its new community health and wellbeing strategy.

Read: Children and Young People Now

14/07/2022: Third of under-18s moved to independent settings within week of entering care, figures show

More than 2,000 16- and 17-year-olds moved into independent or semi-independent accommodation within a week of entering care last year, Ofsted data shows. The statistics show that 32 per cent of all older teenagers in care live in independent or semi-independent accommodation which does not provide care.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/07/2022: Number of unregistered children’s homes doubled last year, finds Ofsted

Regulator also reports doubling, to 50, in number of children waiting for each secure bed, and rise in single-bed homes as study reveals scale of demand for children with complex needs.

Read: Community Care

07/07/2022: Education of children in care in England held back by ‘system failings’

A report by MPs has identified “a host of indefensible system failings” behind the educational disadvantage affecting children in care, and called for academies that illegally turn them away to be punished by Ofsted.

Read: Guardian

05/07/2022: Most children in care not satisfied with frequency of family contact, study finds

Survey of almost 8,000 children and young people finds many want more say over contact, and satisfaction with arrangements are worse among those in residential care or children who have had multiple moves.

Read: Community Care

04/07/2022: Michael Sheen asks why children in care disappear

Actor Michael Sheen says the “worst things imaginable” are happening to children in care and not enough is being done to help them. The Hollywood actor from Port Talbot has made a documentary with BBC Wales Investigates about the experiences of children in care who have been placed in hostels, B&Bs or have ended up sleeping rough.

Read: BBC

29/06/2022: Complaints higher at children’s homes run for profit

Private children’s homes run to make a profit in England have more police callouts and whistleblowing complaints than homes run by charities and councils, the BBC has learned. Analysis of new data from Ofsted shows the for-profit sector accounted for disproportionately high numbers.

Read: BBC

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