Living in unregulated, unregistered accommodation in a lockdown is extremely isolating. Young people are struggling to contact social workers and access financial support during this crisis.
Along with the National Youth Advocacy Service and a group of care-experienced people and leaders of charities and organisations working with care-experienced children and young people across England, Just for Kids Law and Children’s Rights Alliance for England wrote to the Education Secretary, The Rt Hon. Gavin Williamson MP, and Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families setting out our concerns about care-experienced children during this period.
We called on the Secretary of State to:
- Protect the rights of vulnerable children and young people within the implementation of the new Coronavirus Act.
- Extend an ‘active offer’ of non-face to face independent advocacy for every care-experienced child or young person where inspections are no longer taking place or services are reduced.
- Fund the extension and promotion of existing national helplines for care-experienced children and young people.
- Protect the mental health of care-experienced children and young people.
- Work with the Children’s Commissioner to put out position statements and communications for care-experienced children and young people.
- Support for children and young people who go missing.
- Do everything possible to assess all those transitioning from children’s to adult social care.
- Prevent children and young people from being placed in unregulated provision.
The impact of the pandemic on children living in unregulated, unregistered accommodation gained coverage in BBC Newsnight [16.57mins – 24.28mins].
We are working to monitor these issues arising from the crisis with the young people we work with and raise them with the Government. It is essential that children and young people in care and care leavers receive the support they need.
Read the full letter here.