St Christopher’s Fellowship today welcomed the commitment by Children’s Minister Edward Timpson to work with children’s charities to see how residential care can be extended to young people aged up to 21.
The commitment, in a Commons adjournment debate led by Craig Whittaker MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Looked After Children, comes after the Government increased the leaving age for fostered children to 21.
Mr Timpson said he would ask his team to work with the Who Cares Trust, Catch 22 and the National Children’s Bureau to see how obstacles to extending care in children’s homes could be overcome.
Sam Olsen, Director of Strategy and Development at St Christopher’s said: “We welcomed the increase in leaving age for fostered children and we welcome this latest intervention by the minister.
“Children looked after in children’s homes have been overlooked, and disadvantaged, because they will not benefit from the extension of care granted to fostered children.
“We need to ensure that we do not end up with a two-tier care system. Children looked after in children’s homes often have greater needs than those who are being fostered and to achieve better outcomes they will need a greater level of support.
“In many cases, children leaving children’s homes will be in greater need of continuing, high quality, care and support and it is really important that we ensure they get it.
“We call on the Government to guarantee appropriate care, housing and support to all young people leaving children’s homes at 16 until they are at least 21.”
St Christopher’s, a children’s charity established in 1870, runs children’s homes, fostering services and supported accommodation for care leavers across England and the Isle of Man.
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