24th May 2016
Foster Care Fortnight kicked off on 16th May with a campaign to highlight how a child comes into care every 20 minutes. Many councils used this as an opportunity to celebrate their carers particularly those who had fostered for decades. Meanwhile the Prison Reform Trust highlighted the appallingly high figure of children in care that end up in court because of minor misdemeanours that would have been tackled and sorted out in the home for any regular family.
A review commissioned by the Trust and led by Lord Laming trust points out that half of the 1,000 children currently in custody in England and Wales have experience of the care system. This is despite fewer than 1% of all children in England, and 2% of those in Wales, being in care.
Surrey County Council was praised for its “restorative practice” approach which has seen the number of CiC in the criminal justice system all year on year since 2011.
Prison was also on the mind of David Cameron who pledged a better future for Britain’s care-leavers through the creation of a care leavers’ charter which featured in the Children and Social Work Bill, unveiled in the Queen’s speech. Writing in the Times Cameron suggests that the system is failing its care leavers suggesting that as many as one in four prisoners and 70% of sex workers are care leavers.