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City's children in care helping to shape national policy

Looked after children in Wolverhampton are helping shape Government policy.

Some of the young people who took part in the workshop with Craig Whittaker MP
Some of the young people who took part in the workshop with Craig Whittaker MP

The city's Children in Care Council welcomed members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Looked After Children and Care Leavers to a special workshop recently - and gave their views on the services they receive.

In particular, the 12 young people who took part were asked for their thoughts about services they are entitled to, either as looked after children or when they leave care for the final time.

Also taking part was Craig Whittaker MP, Chair of the APPG, as well as representatives from Birmingham and Bradford's Children in Care Councils. The feedback will inform the Government's Entitlements Inquiry, which is due to be published in October.

Entitlements include such things as the guarantee of having a care plan, case review meetings and bursaries, as well as the chance for care leavers to have their say about accommodation and funding as they set up their first home.

Councillor Val Gibson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "The All-Party Parliamentary Group is carrying out research into whether looked after children and care leavers are aware of the help and support they are entitled to.

"Wolverhampton Children in Care Council recognises that this is a hugely important issue and so we decided to take a proactive approach and arrange the workshop so that they could contribute to the inquiry."

Corporate Parenting Officer Lorna Tull said: "The young people raised a number of concerns, including about the disparity in entitlements between young people attending higher education and those in further education and allowances for young people in residential and foster care.

"They also felt it was unfair that young people could remain in foster placements after the age of 18 while those in residential placements had to leave.

"It was a very interesting discussion and I am sure it proved useful for the Entitlements Inquiry."

Councillor Gibson added: "I'd like to thank all the young people who took part in the workshop for giving up their time and speaking so passionately about the services they receive - and the sort of support which is important to them."

  • released: Friday 30 August, 2013