Young people and children at St Christopher’s have shared their thoughts with the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England.
The report, titled “It is different living in the system than working in the system”, is taken from a quote from a young person. We felt this was an insightful summary of how professionals can forget about children and young people’s lived experience.
Young people from children’s homes, semi-independent homes and foster homes, as well as care leavers who formerly lived at St Christopher’s, contributed their views. The suggestions are from UK nationals and young people seeking asylum in the UK, representing a range of experiences of care.
Based on their feedback, and additional context provided by St Christopher’s foster carers and staff, the report was arranged into eight key themes. Young people shared what worked well, what did not work so well, and the changes they want to see in the care system.
“I had a social worker but we never heard from her, now I have a new one and it’s getting confusing.”
“[I like] having somewhere warm and safe to live and I have a bed. I don’t always agree with the system.”
“You should get help for mental health because if you don’t it will get bigger and bigger and one day you just explode.”
“More trust and more help to people who have more needs and who don’t get to have social workers who are respectful.”
” I feel like everyone should have the option of their leaving care age being extended to 25.”
“What people who support children and young people do is so important and needs to be more skilled.”
Young people seeking asylum
“It would help if there was someone around every week to give advice and talk to people in an accessible way.”
Children in care are still children
“More family contact, go out more, go out on your own, fizzy drinks and change of social worker.”
We hope that this feedback helps the Care Review to reflect on the issues that are most important to young people and consider how care can become child-centred across the board.
Thank you to the young people, staff and foster carers who helped to make this report! Read St Christopher’s Care Review submission today.
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