21/01/2022: One in three care leavers feel they left care prematurely, finds Ofsted

One in three care leavers felt they left care too early, an Ofsted survey has found. Respondents reported feeling rushed into leaving care, were told they would be leaving with little warning and said they felt like they had no choice. The findings comes despite statutory guidance on care leaver provision – which councils must follow other than in exceptional circumstances – saying that no young person should feel they must leave care before they are ready.

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19/01/2022: Care leavers feel they left care too early, Ofsted research shows

More than a third of care leavers feel they left care too early and report feeling “lonely”, “unsafe” and unable to manage finances, a new report by Ofsted reveals. The inspectorate’s new report Ready or not: care leavers’ views of preparing to leave care notes that those who believe they left care too early said the transition had happened “abruptly” and they were not ready for the sudden change.

Read: Children and Young People Now

19/01/2022: Four in five children in care ‘move with belongings in binbags’

Most children in care are forced to take their belongings in bin bags when they move home, according to the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS). A study by the children’s rights charity has found that four in five looked after children have their possessions moved in bin bags when they change homes.

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14/01/2022: NYAS launches fund to support young care leavers

Young people aged between 16 and 25 who have left local authority care can now access a grant of up to £500. The Knapman Fund was launched by National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) and is open to any young people who have previously received support from NYAS.

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12/01/2022: Early help schemes will not stop rise in teenagers entering care, MPs told

An increase in early help services, including the roll-out of family hubs, will not prevent a rise in the number of older children entering care, the education select committee has been told.

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07/01/2022: Devolved governments raise funding concerns about UK policy compelling councils to take asylum-seeking children

The Scottish and Welsh governments are seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Office to raise concerns over its now-mandatory requirement for UK councils to take unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Since 14 December, the Home Office has compelled all British local authorities to sign up to its previously voluntary national transfer scheme (NTS), which enables councils for whom unaccompanied children make up more than 0.07% of their child population to refer children to other authorities.

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06/01/2022: Child poverty rises linked to 10,000 more children going into care over five years, finds research

Rises in child poverty fuelled by benefit cuts was associated with more than 10,000 more children being taken into care between 2015 and 2020, a new study has estimated. The research, which is currently being peer-reviewed, suggests 10,356 more children living in English local authority areas became looked after than would have been the case had poverty levels remained at 2015 levels.

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04/01/2022: Anne Longfield: Reform ‘unfit’ children’s social care system to support vulnerable teens

The former children’s commissioner for England has published a damning report in her new role as chair of the Commission on Young Lives which states that the current system “was largely designed for small children” and is “unfit for purpose”.

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29/12/2021: Children’s care system putting vulnerable teens at risk – report

Teenagers taken into care in England to safeguard them from exploitation are being put at more serious risk in the care system itself, a report warns. The Commission on Young Lives report says children are moved from their local areas to live in unregulated accommodation targeted by criminals. It says the system is “unfit for purpose” and is letting down the rising number of over 16s in care. Ministers say they are “urgently reforming the system”.

Read: BBC

29/12/2021: Children’s social care system ‘unfit for purpose’ in England

The children’s social care system in England is unfit for purpose and often puts vulnerable teenagers in greater danger, according to the former children’s commissioner. Anne Longfield now runs the Commission on Young Lives, which warns in a report that the children’s social care system is “handing over” some vulnerable teenagers to criminals and abusers by moving them “out of area” to live in dangerous unregulated accommodation that is sometimes targeted by criminals.

Read: Guardian

17/12/2021: Less than half of welfare referrals to secure children’s homes result in placements, research warns

Less than half of young people referred to secure children’s homes amid concerns for their welfare last year were offered a placement, new research shows. A briefing note by the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) warns that the proportion of children referred under section 25 of the Children Act 1989 who were offered a placement dropped by almost eight per cent between 2018 and 2020.

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16/12/2021: Campaigners criticise ‘vague and dehumanising’ plans for unregulated care

Children’s campaigners have criticised the government’s decision not to ban unregulated care settings for 16- and 17-year-olds. The use of the settings, which provide housing with limited or no support for children in care has been banned for under-16s. Campaigners had called for this ban to be extended for all under-18s.

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16/12/2021: Ofsted to inspect and register unregulated accommodation providers for 16–17-year-olds in care

Providers and campaigners express concern over national standards and inspection regime, which will come into force in 2023. The Department for Education will introduce national standards for currently unregulated accommodation for 16- and 17- year-olds in 2023, it announced this week.

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15/12/2021: National standards for unregulated supported accommodation to come into force in 2023

Unregulated supported accommodation for 16- and 17-year-olds will be overseen by Ofsted under a new set of mandatory national standards from 2023, the outcome of a government consultation reveals.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/12/2021: Providers failing to register placements to deprive children of liberty

Providers are failing to register unregistered placements for which they have been authorised to deprive children of liberty, despite being required to do so urgently. Ofsted has been notified of 33 unregistered placements authorised by the courts under the inherent jurisdiction since December 2020, for children aged 15 on average. The regulator disclosed the figures in its annual report, published last week.

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