Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford, recently responded to NYAS and partners’ call for the rights of care-experienced children and young people to be protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, NYAS and a collective of over 40 charities, organisations and care-experienced people submitted an open letter to the UK Government. The letter urged the government to maintain standards for care-experienced young people and to continue to meet their corporate parenting responsibilities during the crisis.

We were encouraged by the Minister’s reassurance that “ensuring vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for government.” However, in light of a new statutory instrument published yesterday (Thursday 23rd April), we have serious concerns over how reduced duties to support children and young people would match this commitment.

Rita Waters, NYAS Chief Executive, said “we thank the Minister for their response to our letter, and have been engaging with government officials to ensure rights are protected. We also welcome clarity on the areas we feel are vital in safeguarding the rights and welfare of society’s most vulnerable children and young people. Now is not the time to reduce support and protections for children and young people, and we hope the government will work with us instead to enhance their rights.”

NYAS is now working with co-signatories on a response to the Minister. You can read the Minister’s letter in full here.