In December 2021, the Independent Care Review opened a call for ideas via an online portal. CRAE and Just for Kids Law submitted eight ideas based on our response to the Case for Change, focusing in particular on solutions in relation to issues around homelessness and housing for care experienced children.
- Priority need should be extended to include all care leavers under the age of 25.
- The test of intentional homelessness should be removed for all care leavers, up to the age of 25.
- Independent youth advocacy should be extended to all children and young people who come into contact with statutory services and an ‘active’ (opt out) advocacy offer should be put in place, similar to Wales.
- There should be more support for homeless 16-17 year olds.
- The law should be changed so that every looked after child receives care until they are 18.
- The care review should uphold the principles and provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) through its working methods, analytical framework and proposals for change.
- The children’s social care system should urgently receive additional ring-fenced funding. Any reforms suggested by the Care Review must be sufficiently funded or they will put more pressure on an already stretched system.
- Legislation should be amended so all care leavers have the highest priority for social housing in all local authorities, particularly when placed out-of-area as a child.
Our submission was informed by what we see in our advocacy and legal casework, our child rights expertise, and our direct participation work with young people with lived experience.
Read our full submission for more detail on each idea.
The young people involved in our Care Leavers for Housing Rights campaign have also fed in their own ideas in a submission of their own. Here are some of the key points they raised:
Charlie believes neglecting a child of love and care can leave them at risk of exploitation or getting lost in the system. She thinks young people shouldn’t be put into independent homes until 18.
Rose thinks that self-love should be a bigger priority to help children and young people feel more confident in themselves. In this blog, she shares some of her other thoughts on what could change in the care system.