Headlines: August 4th, 2009

Almost half of children being brought up in care worry about people knowing their background because they fear being judged, bullied or treated differently. The finding from a survey of young people in children’s homes and foster care is published today in the latest report by the Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan.

The ‘Care and Prejudice’ report invited views from more than 350 children and found almost half were worried most about employers, other children and young people, and possible landlords finding out they were in care. Those concerned about employers discovering their background thought it would affect their job prospects.

Overall the respondents, particularly girls, young people in children’s homes, disabled children and those who had spent longest in care, believed people in general had a negative view of them. Almost half said the public saw them as bad and uncontrollable. Just under a quarter thought they were seen as troublemakers.

The report found that the longer children spent in care the more likely they were to report being treated worse. Those who had spent more than six years in care were most likely to say that being in care had stopped them from seeing their family and siblings regularly.

Dr Morgan said the children’s cares were understandable because not living with their birth family made a big difference to their life experience. “What is needed is more guidance particularly in schools to support children in care if needed, but without treating them differently from other children. What is also needed is a more informed attitude by the general public.”