In December 2019, the Westminster Government pledged to a care review in England. Since then, we have been working with Government, care experienced people and other organisations in the sector to begin influencing the process.
The Fostering Network welcomes the commitment from the Government to review the care system in England. At present, there are more children in care in England than there ever has been. An independent, rigorous and evidence-based review of the care system, accompanied by sufficient funding, has the potential to create long-term positive change for children in care. Three-quarters of children in care are in foster care, meaning that fostering must take a central part in the review.
We call for the Government to conduct an independent, rigorous, evidence-based review with clear funding implications to ensure that everyone involved in the care system gets the proper support they need, but most importantly, those with care-experience.
We believe a review of the care system in England should:
- Not be cost-neutral
- Be evidence-based
- Be wide in scope
- Be independent
- Have Government commitment
Delivering a meaningful review of the care system
We have also come together with other organisations and groups who work with and represent care-expereinced children, young people and adults across England to submit principles that were unanimously agreed upon. These principles were sent to the Secretary of State for Education in an open letter.
Read these principles here.
The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers
The Alliance is sector-wide and represents all the main voluntary sector organisations that work to support children in care and care leavers. Its ultimate aim is to promote better outcomes for care-experienced people through influencing policy and campaigning for positive change in the care system. We will also be working closely with the organisations in this alliance to influence the care review at every stage.
Reforms to unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers
In February 2020 the Department for Education took its first step of the care review and launched a consultation seeking views on new measures to ensure that the use of independent and semi-independent provision (commonly known as unregulated provision) provides the right level of support and does not place children in care and care leavers at risk. Read our submission here.
Relating to this consultation, we are supporting a campaign to Keep Caring to 18, with many others in the sector, which is calling for care for every child in the care system.