Last week, the government responded to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care.
The Care Review has provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for a broken system to be fixed.
I’d say from around year 3 (8 years old) I could remember strange grown-ups coming round to my house and agitating my mum and dad. I can remember having briefings with my parents on what I could and couldn’t say to these strangers and the knowledge that if I failed in these duties that I would likely be taken away from my parents with my siblings, and that we would be separated after that to live with different people. I can remember a big argument one of these strangers had with my dad that culminated in two security guards accompanying that particular stranger on all subsequent visits. This stranger was one that had become a somewhat permanent fixture in my young life, and I remember being interviewed by her in a separate room and telling her very little about what was actually going on and anything I did say was positive. It was ‘Us’ against ‘them’.
This short article is an attempt to shed some light on the history of institutional care in Britain. I will draw attention to some of the most important Legal Acts and Figures and provide a rough timeline from the first traces of out-of-home care in 1552 (De Wilde, 2018) to the beginning of our present care system in the 20th century. This article is by no means exhaustive, and only scratches the surface of historical developments that lead us to where we are today. Hence I will signpost a few books and articles that go into more depth about the history of care.
Rich creamy romantic buildings, blended with wine shops, with strong smells of garlic and onions filling the honey brick pavements; the taste of salt in your mouth as drops of sweat roll down from your forehead along your cheeks… A stroll through calm and peaceful Dijon fills your heart with serenity, until you turn a
Young woman leaving the care system in the UK face particular challenges related to both, their background in care as well as their gender. Providing them with access to long-term support and guidance means giving them a real chance to thrive and fulfil their full potential.
“You know it’s life if your plans just change like that, whether it’s drastically and abruptly, or over a long period of time.” Gabriel recently went through a dark patch in his life. His daily routine became repetitive; eating, sleeping, stuck in his room, day-in-day-out. His depression stemmed from having something he loved, something he had dedicated his life to, suddenly taken away.
“If you have never been through the care system, and survived, you will never understand what it is like. In our first meeting with Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Children and Families, we invited him into our lives, to listen, to learn and hear about our individual and collective experiences of care.”
After returning from a trip to Scotland last month the Drive Forward Policy Forum was left with an even stronger conviction that the UK’s care system is broken. Hosted by the pioneering care leavers’ advocacy organisation Who Cares? Scotland, our Ambassadors listened to the stories of other care experienced people, and in return shared their