Today the law changes in a deeply regressive way for children in care in England. Following wide-ranging evidence of children in care, most of them aged 16 and 17, suffering serious harm in what’s called semi-independent and independent accommodation, the Department for Education introduced new duties on local authorities.
The law now stops councils from putting children in care in places where they do not receive day-to-day care – but only if the child is aged 15 or younger.
This is discriminatory and will cause tremendous harm to children aged 16 and 17. It has created a two-tier care system. Our organisation along with 54 others reject this age-based partition of children in care. It is disgraceful that we’re having to make the case for teenagers in care to actually receive care as we celebrate the thirtieth anniversaries of the Children Act 1989 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child coming into force in our country, both of which define children as being under the age of 18.