Stuart Carlton reflects on a meeting with Ian Dickson – a retired social worker, Ofsted inspector, residential manager, and children’s rights advocate
Support and preparation for life
Firstly, time in care should be focused on always preparing for what lies ahead. Preparation for independence needs to be funded to include very practical preparations for when young people live more independently.
Most children in families stay within them for many years after the age of 18 and we need to create and fund the same opportunities for children who are in care for many more years than we do currently. This is harder with residential care which needs to be local and incentivised to create lasting relationships and connections, and the use of semi-independent accommodation should ideally only be used when young adults are ready and can be properly supported to cope on their own, with workable back-up plans.
Support for care experienced people should last for as long as needed, with no end date. This should be relationally focused to mend and repair relationships for life, where possible, whilst recognising the family and children trauma that has occurred. Relationships, networks, and support should be of central importance.
Read the blog in full it covers...
- Continued access to education
- Housing available with support
- Employment support
- Enhanced health access
- Co-ordinated support