Whilst most parents would never feel like packing their grown-up children’s suitcases to make them move out, the most vulnerable children in the UK are expected to leave care and make their way in the adult world whilst they are still in their teens, Barnardo’s research has shown. A young care leaver from Liverpool described reaching their 18th birthday and feeling like they were being “kicked out” of their semi-supported lodgings.
The Government plans to fund foster children to stay home until they’re 21 under the ‘Staying Put’ Initiative is extremely positive but Barnardo’s is concerned the most vulnerable are still excluded. This is because the scheme doesn’t extend to children in other forms of care, including in children’s homes, hostels, in other placements, or those who can’t stay with their foster carer.
Sam Monaghan/Puja Darbari from Barnardo’s comments:
It’s scandalous that we consider the UK’s most vulnerable children ready to live on their own in their late teens, when most parents would never feel ready to ‘pack their children’s suitcases’.
The Government’s plans to allow children in foster care to ‘stay put’ will radically improve the start in adult life for many, but many thousands more of the most vulnerable still risk being left by the wayside.
We are calling on the Government to end the misery of living alone too young for vulnerable youngsters, by making sure that they have someone to care even after they have turned 18, through giving every single child in care the chance to ‘stay put’ until they’re 21”.
Barnardo’s recommends that care leavers’ lives can be improved by having regular, close contact with peers and with supportive adults. This includes having someone to talk to, someone to provide guidance and someone to provide practical advice on adult skills, such as budgeting.
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See our Care Leavers Experience at Barnardo's video on youtube.