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Barnardo’s launches Charter for Care Leavers

Release Date: 29 Oct 2012

Tonight we are hosting an event to launch the Department for Education’s Charter for Care Leavers.

The Department for Education has produced the charter in association with care leavers, charities and local authorities.

The aims of the charter

The aims of the charter are to reinforce the Government’s commitment as corporate parent, to remind local authorities of the principles to be guided by when working with care leavers and to raise aspiration and understanding of what care leavers need.

Attending the event

Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie, Parliamentary under secretary of State for Education Edward Timpson MP and Barnardo’s vice president, fashion designer and care leaver Bruce Oldfield OBE will take part in a panel discussion at the launch in Westminster this evening.

They will be joined by care leavers and staff from local authorities, the question and answer session being chaired by Ravi Chandiramani, editor of Children and Young People Now.

How does Barnardo’s support care leavers?

Barnardo’s supports care leavers by actively encouraging the young people at our projects to pursue education, develop basic life skills such as cooking and household budgeting and providing access to relevant financial aid.  

Health advice and counselling is also available to enable a successful transition to independent life. Barnardo’s supported lodgings provide care leavers with a place of safety and stability while we help them to secure permanent accommodation.

Anne Marie Carrie, Barnardo’s chief executive, said:

The Charter for Care Leavers includes the values and ideals that should lie at the heart of any parental relationship.

Barnardo’s hopes to see professionals who work with care leavers being encouraged and supported to draw on their emotions as well as regulations. The charter can not magic up resources that are unavailable, but it is an essential reminder of how we must think about and treat care leavers.

The lack of consistency of provision for care leavers across local authorities is a grave concern.  The current support system is not clear or accessible for young people. Barnardo’s looks forward to seeing an end to care leavers having to fight for what they are entitled to.”

Edward Timpson MP, parliamentary under secretary of state for education said:

Care leavers should be treated no differently to any other young person. We should never underestimate the barriers they face. The care system must never forget to listen to their own views about how they want to live their own lives. The charter underlines that they need all the support and respect we can give them.”

Saeed Iqbal, a care leaver supported by Barnardo’s said:

It’s all very powerful……now let’s see it happen.”

Bruce Oldfield, Barnardo’s vice president, designer and care leaver said:

As someone who was raised in care, I know the difference it makes having someone who believes in you when you’re starting out in the world. It is a tragedy when young people’s lives are thwarted by an abysmally low expectation of what they can achieve.

For too long many children leaving care have had a raw deal, with no one to ease their path into adult life. It’s time to be every bit as ambitious for these young people as we would be for our own children and help make their dreams come true.”

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