Care matters: transforming the lives of children and young people in care

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The Stationery Office, 2006 - Medical - 120 pages
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Although outcomes for children in care have improved in recent years, there remains a significant and widening gap between these and the outcomes for all children. The childhood and adolescence of many of the 60,000 children in care at any one time is often characterised by insecurity, ill-health and lack of fulfilment, resulting in the fact that they are over-represented in a range of vulnerable groups, including the homeless, teenage parents, young offenders and prisoners, those not in post-16 education, employment or training, and drug users. This Green Paper from the Department for Education and Skills sets out a series of proposals which seek to address this situation by reforming both the way the care system works for children and the quality of experience they receive. Proposals include: an improved placements system with the focus on expanding the number and quality of foster carers; powers for local authorities to direct schools to admit children in care, even where the school is fully subscribed; pilot schemes to allow young people to continue to live with foster carers up to the age of 21 years; introduction of a national bursary for young people in care going to university; regular Ofsted inspections of how each local authority is meeting the educational needs of children in care; better support to prevent exclusions of children in care; and enhanced entitlement to free school transport to ensure children do not have to change school when they change placement. The closing date for responses to this consultation document is 15 January 2007, either sent by email to: carematters.consultation@dfes.gsi.gov.uk or by post to: Consultation Unit, Area 1A, Castle View House, East Lane, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 2GJ. A series of focus groups and workshops will be held throughout the consultation period to consider views on the Green Paper, and four working groups of interested stakeholders are being set up in order to explore issues in more detail (under the headings of the future of the care population, social care pratices, placement reform, and best practice in schools) which will report to the DfES in Spring 2007.
 

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Contents

Foreword
3
Executive summary
5
The need for reform
10
Children on the edge of care
20
The role of the corporate parent
31
Ensuring children are in the right placements A I
41
A first class education
54
Life outside school
72
The transition to adult life
84
Making the system work
92
Delivering our vision
100
Annex A Childrens views on care
103
Annex B Glossary
107
Key data
112
Copyright

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