Members of the #KeepCaringTo18 campaign steering group have written to Josh MacAlister, chair of England’s children’s social care review, expressing “deep concern” about the review’s recent failure to “accurately communicate” what campaigners are pressing for in respect of children in care aged 16 and 17. The campaigners ask for a meeting with the review chair and members of its Experts by Experience Board, which includes several care experienced people.
The open letter, sent 10 November 2021, is below.
The #KeepCaringTo18 campaign was launched on 11 March 2020 to press for all children in care to receive care where they live (read Children and Young People Now news piece here). This followed the publication of the first of two Department for Education consultation documents on non-care accommodation for children in care. That document proposed to end the use of non-care settings for children in care aged 15 and younger. This came into force through secondary legislation on 9 September 2021.
Article 39 is legally challenging the secondary legislation; our case is before the High Court on 16 December 2021.
Earlier this year, the Department for Education ran a second consultation on non-care settings for 16 and 17 year-olds in care, proposing a set of standards which deliberately omit any requirement to provide care. That consultation closed on 19 July 2021 and the government has not yet announced the outcome.