The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers is a coalition of organisations that work to support children in care and care leavers.
What the Alliance is calling for
The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers' The Vision calls for a care system that promotes resilience and emotional wellbeing by helping children and young people to recover from past harm.
Our plan of work to ensure that every single child has the best possible chance to recover from trauma and realise their full potential focuses on three key themes:
1. The Mental Health and Well-being of Children in Care and Care Leavers
Mental health and wellbeing have long been central to the Alliance’s work. We have been successful in amending legislation to include specific arrangements for children in care and care leavers. The Alliance will work with policymakers to secure timely and tailored mental health support for all children from the moment they arrive into care. We will monitor the progress of existing government commitments and will seek to influence new policy in this area.
The Alliance believes that stability is crucial to recovery from trauma, and that the gaps in the system that undermine stability must be addressed. Stability of care placement, stability in relationships and of educational setting are central to the well-being of children in care. For far too long, there has been insufficient focus on the idea of stability, to the detriment of helping looked after children and young people recover from the psychological impact of abuse and neglect. The Alliance will continue to promote stability as key to supporting the resilience and emotional wellbeing of all children in and leaving care.
3. Eighteen Plus and Care Leavers
Some progress has been made by the Alliance and other organisations in making the case for softening the cliff-edge that sees children in care and care leavers losing access to support services and having to leave care placements as soon as they turn eighteen. The Alliance will continue to push for better funding for Staying Put and will monitor and seek to influence developments including Staying Close.
Alliance briefings and statements
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 makes unprecedented changes to regulations relating to the care and protection of vulnerable children and young people.
May 2017: Children and Social Work Act
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.
April 2017: Promoting Looked After Children's Emotional Wellbeing and Recovery from Trauma Through Child-Centred Outcomes Framework
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.
January 2017: Improving the Mental Health of Looked After Children and Care Leavers
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.
January 2017: Mental Health Assessments for Looked After Children
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.
January 2017: Suitable Accommodation for Care Leavers
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.
Vicki Swain, Head of Policy and Campaigns at The Fostering Network (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vicki has worked in policy and campaigns in the charity sector for over 17 years and has represented The Fostering Network on the Alliance since 2011.
Kate Lawson, Director of External Relations at The Fostering Network (email@example.com)
Kate has been a member of the Alliance for a number of years, her background is in policy and she has worked in both the voluntary and public sectors.
Ben Twomey, Head of Policy and Research at NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ben has held regional and national roles in both the voluntary and public sector, and leads NYAS’ campaigning, research and policy programme across England and Wales.
British Association of Social Workers (BASW)
Children’s Commissioner for England
Children’s Rights Alliance England
Coram Children’s Legal Centre
Drive Forward Foundation
Family Rights Group
Fostering Through Social Enterprise (FtSE)
Home for Good
Leap Confronting Conflict
Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit
National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers (NAIRO)
National Children’s Bureau (NCB)
National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)
The Care Leavers’ Association
The Children’s Society
The Fostering Network
The Prince’s Trust
St Christophers Fellowship
Our previous vision, A New Vision, was published in June 2016:
All of the organisations that make up the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers work to an agreed Terms of Reference.