Children Moving in Care
Every 20 minutes, a child in care moves home.
Often, these children move with less than 24 hours notice, making it difficult to say goodbye to their friends, teachers and classmates.
What can make this move worse is having to pack their precious belongings into flimsy bin bags, causing items to be damaged or broken.
My Things Matter: The Facts
As part of the My Things Matter campaign, NYAS conducted extensive research with care-experienced young people, local authorities, and professionals who work across the care sector. We discovered that:
- 80% of children and young people who responded said that their belongings were moved in bin bags at least once during their time in care.
- 3 in 5 young people said that at least one, but usually more, of their personal belongings had been lost or damaged during a move in care.
- Just over 60% of professionals confirmed that they had seen bin bags being used to move the belongings of a child in care over the last 5 years.
- 4 in 5 care-experienced young people said that they were not contacted by their local authority to garner feedback on their moving experience.
- Only 1 in 3 local authorities provide formal, written guidance for staff and carers when a child is moving home in care.
Things Need to Change
Unfortunately, children in care have been moving home without the dignity and respect they deserve for far too long.
My Things Matter is campaigning for improved support and respect for care-experienced children and their belongings when they move, across England and Wales.
We are asking local authorities to help make the moving experience as positive as possible for children and young people in the care system.
To support this change, we are asking local authorities across England and Wales to adopt and implement the My Things Matter pledge:
My grandfather’s pictures got lost when I moved, as well as some really important files. It took me two and a half years to get the files back from the local authority. My pictures were lost forever.
Grace, Age 11
I felt like I had no identity, everything I owned was in a bin bag. I felt like nobody cared.
Beth, Age 20
Has Your Authority Signed the My Things Matter Pledge?
To the right, you can find our My Things Matter map. This map identifies all of the local authorities across England and Wales who have signed this pledge, and made a promise to improve the moving experience for children in their care.
The local authorities who have already signed the My Things Matter pledge are:
- Neath Port Talbot
- Vale of Glamorgan
- East Sussex
- Redcar and Cleveland
- Hammersmith and Fulham
- North Yorkshire
- West Sussex
Can’t see your local authority listed? If you work for a local authority and would like to sign up to our campaign pledge, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't work for a local authority, keep reading to see how you can use your voice to make a change.
Partnering With Madlug
NYAS is thrilled to be launching this campaign in partnership with Madlug, an award winning bag brand based in Ireland.
Madlug stands for Made with a Difference Luggage, and the company champions Value, Dignity and Worth for children and young people in care. Established by a youth worker in 2015, Madlug is fighting for the same cause as NYAS’ My Things Matter campaign.
For every bag that they sell, Madlug donates a travel bag to a child in care. So far, Madlug have provided over 45,000 travel bags to care-experienced children and young people across the UK and Ireland.
We’re thrilled to have this social action company supporting My Things Matter by donating bulk orders of free pack-away Madlug bags to local authorities who sign the campaign pledge.
Having my stuff moved in bin bags felt humiliating, it made me feel like I was worthless just as rubbish is.
Daniel, Age 18
I advocated for a boy whose bicycle was lost between placement moves. He had saved up for it over time and bought for himself. It took me many months to get the money back from the local authority, and even then, they did not give him back the amount the bike cost.
How Can I Help Children Moving in Care?
NYAS cannot make this change alone. So, we are asking for your support.