NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) has submitted serious concerns to the UK Government over their proposed quality standards for supported accommodation that will deny care to 16- and 17-year-olds who live there.
We believe that the proposed quality standards could violate UK Government’s responsibility as a state party to take action to protect children in care from harm.
The number of children in unregulated accommodation increased by 23% from 2021 to 2022 (4,280 to 5,440). The current proposals regulate for the first time to formally deny care for children. The Department for Education still has the choice to use the nine existing children’s homes quality standards for supported accommodation, and we urge them to do so. Instead, they are choosing to dilute support and remove care that should be available to these children.
UK Government chose to consult on their proposed quality standards for supported accommodation over the Christmas period. NYAS warned the Department for Education in early December that our charity would not be able to meaningfully engage children and young people with the government’s proposals and called for the consultation to be extended by at least four weeks.
The Department for Education unfortunately refused NYAS’ call for an extension to the consultation deadline. One reason they gave was that the views of care-experienced children and young people have already been gathered from two previous consultations.
The regulations are due to come into effect from spring 2023. If you are reading this blog as a young person who is concerned about what this change will mean for you, please contact our helpline at email@example.com.
Read NYAS’ consultation response here.