A report examined corporate parenting for young people as they left the care system, and considered whether and how a range of local services worked together to extend corporate parenting responsibilities and accountability during this phase. It said that young people leaving care were often very vulnerable and were 'uniquely dependent' on local services as they made the transition to adulthood. While, in some cases, services met high standards, the report said that others were perceived to be poor, and it made a range of recommendations to improve provision, including: for more explicit recognition of care leavers in policy; for a range of automatic entitlements or priority for support; for better information and data sharing; for the development of joint working and protocols; and for more personalized services with named support providers.
Source: Linda Briheim-Crookall, Dustin Hutchinson, and Jo Dixon, Extended Corporate Parenting: Are local services good parents to care leavers?, Catch22
A report examined the housing needs and experiences of young people leaving care. It said that: young people often felt unprepared for independent living; there was often a lack of choice of where to move to and minimal time given to prepare mentally and practically; the downward pressure on housing benefit, lack of appropriate housing, and the bedroom tax made finding accommodation difficult; and some young people ended up in poor quality or unsafe housing. The report welcomed the Staying Put initiative, allowing young people to remain in foster care to age 21, but called on local authorities to extend their support for all care leavers to age 25. It also recommended for local authorities to develop better emergency provision, so that they did not need to use bed and breakfast accommodation for care leavers whose accommodation had broken down.
Source: On My Own: The accommodation needs of young people leaving care in England, Barnardo's
An article examined young people's experiences of leaving care in the United Kingdom. It said that young people's transitions were undermined by an unstable and uncertain environment, and that the core structures of support should be reviewed. The article discussed the implications for policy, practice, and future research.
Source: Dominic Hiles, Duncan Moss, Lisa Thorne, John Wright, and Rudi Dallos, '"So what am I?" – Multiple perspectives on young people's experience of leaving care', Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 41
A report by a committee of MPs said that the suitability and safety of transitional living and support arrangements for young people leaving care needed to improve. It recommended that the government should: consult on a framework of individual regulatory oversight for all accommodation provision that fell within the category 'other arrangements'; draw on existing models of good supported living practice to inform clear guidance; and ban the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for this group.
Source: Into Independence, Not Out of Care: 16 plus care options, Second Report (Session 201415), HC 259, House of Commons Education Select Committee, TSO
The Care Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided for a range of measures regarding health and social care, including: a cap on the cost of social care in England; the legal right of carers to support from their local council; provision for local authorities to assess the care and support needs of children, and young carers, who might need support after they reach the age of 18, to facilitate the transition to adult social care; entitlements to personal care budgets and provisions for deferred payments for care; a rating system for hospitals and care homes, and new powers of intervention to the chief inspector of hospitals; and the creation of two new public bodies, Health Education England and the Health Research Authority, designed to provide additional training and support for health professionals.
Source: Care Act 2014, Department of Health, TSO
An article examined early findings from the evaluation of pilot Social Work Practices (SWPs), which were established in England in 2009 to deliver social work services to looked-after children and care leavers. It described features of the varied emerging models and their relationships with local authorities. The article concluded that the findings showed some dilution of the original SWP model, although the diversity of pilots allowed benefits of the various formats to emerge.
Source: Nicky Stanley, Helen Austerberry, Andy Bilson, Nicola Farrelly, Katrina Hargreaves, Shereen Hussein, Anne Ingold, Jill Manthorpe, Julie Ridley, and Vicki Strange, 'Establishing Social Work Practices in England: the early evidence', British Journal of Social Work, Volume 44 Number 2
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided for additional, funded early learning and childcare, for every child and young person to have a named person from birth responsible for safeguarding their well-being, for the extension of the upper age limit for young people leaving care, and for kinship carers to be provided with more support from local authorities.
Source: Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Scottish Parliament, TSO
A report examined the existing state of knowledge about what constituted 'good' parent-and-child fostering (the placement of both parent and child together in a foster setting), based on a review of the literature from the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The report said that some of the characteristics of a good placement were the same as those for fostering any young person, such as good relationships, clear 'house rules', and involving young people in decisions about their placement. Other factors were more specific to parent-and-child provision, such as feeling stigmatized, or feeling abandoned when leaving the placement. The report said that the outcomes of placements were very mixed and likely to reflect the small numbers in the reviewed studies, the differences in the placements, the characteristics of the population, the purposes of the scheme, and the services offered to parents. The report made recommendations for policy and practice, as well as future research.
Source: Nikki Luke and Judy Sebba, Effective Parent-and-Child Fostering: An international literature review, Rees Centre, University of Oxford
An article reviewed the literature relating to young peopleï¿½s experiences of social support during their transition from state care. It discussed implications for policy, practice and future research.
Source: Dominic Hiles, Duncan Moss, John Wright, and Rudi Dallos, 'Young people's experience of social support during the process of leaving care: a review of the literature', Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 36 Number 12
A think-tank report examined the experiences and needs of young people leaving care in England, based on a survey with 100 care leavers and consultation with those working with them. The report noted that there had been significant progress made in addressing the needs of young people, but that much of the resulting support had bypassed those in most need. It said that many care leavers found it difficult to live independently without support, and noted the loneliness and isolation felt by many. The report made recommendations: for better support with independent living; for better support for those in, or seeking, work; and for addressing issues such as isolation.
Source: Caitlin Devereux, Survival of the Fittest? Improving life chances for care leavers, Centre for Social Justice