Responding to the Education Committee’s report calling for improved support for young care leavers and a ban on placing them in B&Bs, Lily Caprani, Director of Strategy & Policy at The Children’s Society, said:
'Many children in care are there because they have been abused, neglected or trafficked.
'But we know from our work that many of these young people – including victims of sexual exploitation, young people with mental health issues or refugees fleeing war or persecution – are being left without support.
Vulnerable to exploitation
'Many are inappropriately placed in B&Bs, where they are vulnerable to exploitation and don’t have supportive adults around them.
'It’s important that young people in care have the support they need for as long as they need. Being abandoned by services just because they turn 18 or placed in B&B is not appropriate for any young person. And it is not appropriate for vulnerable children in care.
Ban on B&Bs
'We welcome the recommendations that all children in care should continue to get support from services until they are 25. And we welcome the ban on placing children in B&B.
'Of course there will be situations where councils need to find temporary accommodation in an emergency, but the onus is on councils to make sure they plan ahead so they are never forced into these situations.
'As parents, we do our best to help our children become flourishing, independent adults. As corporate parents, councils should do the same for children in care.'
For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4423 or email. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors
- The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.