The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers submitted a response to the Care Review’s Call for Ideas, sharing five ways in which care-experienced children and young people could be better protected, supported and nurtured. The ideas covered were Rights, Mental health Advocacy, Care leaver homelessness ‘priority need’, Care leaver homelessness ‘intentionality’, and unregulated accommodation.
August 2021: Response to the Care Review’s Case for Change
In June 2021 the Care Review produced its first major publication, setting out its ‘case for change’ in children’s social care. The Alliance responded to this, challenging a number of findings and feeding into the review’s later ‘response to feedback’.
As part of a wider coalition of coalitions working with children and young people in England, the Alliance urged the Care Review to publicly commit to upholding the provisions and principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) through its working methods, analytical framework and proposals for change.
In November 2021, the Care Review confirmed it would be conducting a Children’s Rights Impact Assessment of its upcoming recommendations, which was a key recommendation from the coalition of coalitions.
The next phase of the Care Review was seeking evidence of what works, gaps and challenges within children’s social care. The Alliance ‘Care Review subgroup’ was formed, chaired by Ali Gunn (Together Trust) to coordinate this and future sector-wide responses to the review process.
As the Care Review launched in England, the Alliance coordinated a sector-wide response to their initial call for advice, helping to shape the early thinking of the review.
This letter was written to Children's Minister, Vicky Ford MP on behalf of The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers to express concern about SI 445, which made unprecedented changes to regulations relating to the care and protection of children and young people in vulnerable situations.
The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers welcomes the Children and Social Work Act which passed into law on the 27 April 2017. Our members worked together to inform the development of the Act and we are pleased that many of our suggestions have been enshrined in law.
We believe that the care system must promote resilience and emotional well-being by helping children and young people to recover from past harm. We are therefore pleased that the Act makes it explicit that local authorities should have regard to the mental as well as physical health and well-being children in care, as part of the new corporate parenting principles.
With the Act the Government has embraced the call in the Alliance’s Vision for Care to ensure that all care leavers have a personal advisor until the age of 25, whether or not they are in education or training.
This paper examines options for assessing and measuring looked after children’s well-being and mental health outcomes across their care experience as mechanisms for assessing ‘good quality care’. It sets out proposals for Government on developing new measures and ways of using existing data more effectively to drive improvements across the system.
This amendment will ensure that local authorities, supported by Clinical Commissioning Groups, promote the physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing of looked after children.
It specifically provides for a stronger requirement for the role of designated doctors and nurses for looked after children, providing strategic oversight in local areas to meet physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing needs.
Children in care and care leavers need to have a strategic champion who ensures that health and social care services can understand and meet their mental health and wellbeing needs.
This new clause requires the Secretary of State to make regulations for mental health and emotional wellbeing assessments for looked after children and care leavers. A time delay in commencement is included to allow time for the pilots to be completed before details of the regulations are decided.
This new clause will establish a clear statutory duty on local authorities to secure sufficient, suitable accommodation for all care leavers up to age 21. Local authorities already have a duty to ensure sufficient accommodation for looked after children in their area.
This clause will introduce a similar duty on local authorities to ensure sufficient, suitable accommodation for all care leavers up to the age of 21.