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England's care system needs a radical overhaul

20th April 2009

MPs have said the care system should be run like a "pushy parent" so that it demands and receives the highest standards for the children it is responsible for.

Lonely Boy

According to a report by the Commons' Children, Schools and Families Committee, the state should be concerned with ensuring the 60,000 children it cares for are happy and their interests are met.

62% of the children in care in England are there due to "abuse or neglect" while 4% are disabled and slightly less than 6% are "unaccompanied" asylum seekers.

Ministers from the committee wrote: "the government is too timid in demanding that health services and the criminal justice and asylum systems give special consideration to looked-after children."

MPs said vulnerable children were not protected from society's dangers and were not offered the care services that many of them required.

Children in care are twice as likely as those not in care to be convicted and seven times as likely to be expelled from school.

"We welcome the government's assertion that it should become exceptional for a young person to leave care before they turn 18, and hope that it will precipitate a culture change in local authorities," the report stated.

The report recommended that children should stay under the care of the state "in some form" until they reached the age of 21.

 

 

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