Headlines: August 29th, 2008

Children living away from home or being helped by social care services are to be given the chance to air their views regularly on key issues affecting their lives. It is part of a new report published today by the Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan.

His report, ‘Children’s Care Monitor 2008: Children’s views on how care is doing’, details children’s experiences in six specific areas as part of an annual monitoring process. The topics include keeping safe, education, bullying, care planning and consultation. Following the report children’s views on these topics will be charted each year to show trends and highlight areas of improvement or concern.

One child quoted in today’s report says, “I know all the legislations are changing for people or children in care now… but when I was forced to leave care, I didn’t get the best of plans.” The monitoring report also shows children’s experiences vary. Children with disability, for example, are more likely to feel unsafe and be bullied compared to everyone else in the survey. Those over 14 are also more likely to be asked their opinion on things that matter to them and have more of a say on their care plans.

Dr Morgan said, “We know what government and local authorities are doing to develop plans and policies for children living away from home or who are in care. Now it’s time for children to give their verdict and convey how well they think these services are doing for them by monitoring their own care”

The report shows four in ten of the children surveyed worried either a little or a lot about their safety. Those who worried most about their safety lived at home with their own families while children in foster care worried the least. The children listed drugs, strangers, kidnappers and alcohol as the biggest dangers to people their age.