Where is the care? Government proposals for 16/17 year-olds in England would fail thousands
22nd Jul 2021
This week, the Department for Education’s consultation on regulating accommodation for 16- and 17-year-olds closed. Unregulated accommodation is already set to be banned from September for care-experienced children up to the age of 15, following calls across the sector including through NYAS’ ‘Regulate!’ campaign.
NYAS, alongside partners in the sector and the #KeepCaringTo18 campaign, has called for the nine children’s homes quality standards be implemented as part of regulation efforts. Instead, the government have proposed four ‘national standards’ which would deny care to children and create a two-tier system. In our response, we urged the government to scrap their plans to not care for children over 15, and called upon them to ban unregulated accommodation at the earliest opportunity.
Article 20 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that if a child cannot be looked after by their immediate family, the government must give them special protection and assistance, including making sure the child is provided with alternative care that is continuous. We believe that if the government deny care to the 6,000 16 and 17 year-olds in unregulated accommodation, they will be in breach of this basic right.
We stand alongside young people who, if the proposed national standards are accepted, will have their right to care stripped from them.