The Care System: listening to those with lived experience
(An excerpt from our newsletter. If you want to sign up to our monthly newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daniel Lavelle a Guardian journalist and author of the film, The care system failed me. What is it like for kids today? gives a moving account of his and others experiences in care, seeking to find out if the care system which failed him as a child, has changed for the better. Sadly his conclusion echo’s the sad the reality identified within recent government reviews that it has got worse.
The Independent Review of Social Care (May 2022) and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (October 2022) both highlight the increased vulnerability of children within the care system, particularly those living in residential care and the need for change.
Young people in care are often aware that their vulnerability can be increased, but sadly feel that they have little to no control or say in their care planning decisions. Daniel talks of not being heard during his time in residential care, where he feels residential staff are ill-equipped to deal with complex emotional behaviours often resorting to restraining techniques to control outbursts of frustration by young people. Daniel highlights the need for residential staff to have appropriate training and education, to enable a trauma informed approached to caring for young people within the care system, rather than an authority and controlling approach. This view is supported through recommendations made by both the reviews, mentioned above, that all staff working in care roles in children’s residential care settings, including secure children’s homes, are subject to registration with an independent regulatory body, charged with setting and maintaining standards of training, conduct and continuing professional development, and with the power to enforce these through fitness to practise procedures.
You can watch the short film below. But if you're interested in discussing this theme more, join our Special Interest Group:
There are several themes within the film already debated by the AoCPP SIG for Children & Young People in Care and Care Experienced (C&YPiC and CE) and we are keen to take forward further debate and the sharing of good practice during our lunch time events.
The changes within government over the last six months has led to a delay in the DfE pledge to issue a response to the Care Review before the end of the year. Josh Mac Alister the lead of the review has been appointed to advise on the content of the implementation strategy and provide “ongoing challenge and scrutiny on the delivery and implementation plans” This alongside the government’s response to the recommendations published in the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, effecting and aiming to improve experiences and outcomes for children within the care system will help inform our SIG events going forward.
If you are working within or have an interest in safeguarding our children within the care system, we would be pleased to hear from you or join our next SIG, date to be circulated via our Events page or newsletter in the new year.
- Penny Earney
Chair of Children & Young People in Care and Care Experienced SIG