Response to the Westminster Government's National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers’ First Year Report

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Responding to the publication of the Westminster Government's National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers’ First Year Report, Jackie Sanders, director of communications and public affairs, said: 'The introduction of a national implementation adviser for care leavers in England was a very welcome appointment and it is encouraging to read examples of good practice highlighted in his first annual report. However, we are very concerned that the report, including the Ambitions section, appears to have completely ignored Staying Put – a policy that has the potential to transform the experience of young people leaving foster care but is currently benefitting woefully too few of these young people. This seems to be in complete contrast with the Minister’s assertion that the state need to be as ambitious and aspirational as any parent is for their children, and the statement by Mark Riddell, the national implementation adviser, that ‘in everything we do, or change, or develop, we have to ask ourselves “is that good enough for my child?”.'

'A key outcome of the Government’s Keep on Caring Strategy, which aims to transform support for young people leaving care care leavers experiencing stability in their lives, is about helping them to feel safe and secure. Staying Put is a crucial element of this, yet does not get a mention. Mark Riddell says that when we ask ourselves if a decision is good enough for ‘my child… discussions and decisions take on a whole new meaning.’ If that is to be the case then the proper funding and implementation of Staying Put will surely be prioritised.

'There is, we agree, still a long way to go before every care leaver receives the level of support that we would consider to be good enough for our own children. A big stride towards this could be taken by this Government taking the steps required to turn the unfulfilled promise of Staying Put into a reality.'