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Mike Stein Research Professor. What I am going to talk about Care Less Lives – the rights movement of young people in care in England A young persons.

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Presentation on theme: "Mike Stein Research Professor. What I am going to talk about Care Less Lives – the rights movement of young people in care in England A young persons."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mike Stein Research Professor

2 What I am going to talk about Care Less Lives – the rights movement of young people in care in England A young persons history of care – identify themes of a history from below Reflections on the achievements, the recurring themes and current challenges

3 The rights movement of young people in care Rights movement – young peoples movement as distinct from professional rights groups UNCRC principles – participation, protection and provision The Leeds Ad-Lib group – began in The Who Cares? project – 1975 to 1978 – continues today The National Association of Young People in Care – 1979 to 1994 Black and In Care A National Voice – 1999 and still going

4 Leeds Ad-lib group from 1973 It started by bringing together young people living in care with those who had left care to share their experiences Campaigned against special arrangements for school dinner payments and buying clothes Challenging stigmatising policies and practices – impact upon identity and well-being The group helped young people o Talk about care and share experiences – grow in confidence through participating o Educate others about their experiences – Ad Lib mag o Began to change attitudes and policies towards children and young people at a local level

5 Who Cares? First national event, for young people aged 12-16, living in Childrens Homes Context – institutionalisation, community and family care; drift; what did young people think? Lack of public awareness about care Movement and disruption experienced by young people living in care The use of physical punishment – abuse in care? Young peoples lack of knowledge abut care and being involved in their care

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7 Who Cares? Published a book – Who Cares? Young people in care speak out Charter of Rights and Things we want to change Setting-up of 4 regional groups Published Who Cares? News Their views received widespread publicity Introduced the idea of rights - a narrative shift from professionally defined needs Rights to equality; information; participation, and privacy

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9 The National Association of Young People in Care: Set up in June 1979 – their own independent organisation: To improve conditions for children and young people in care To make information and advice available to young people in care To promote the views and opinions of young people in care To help start, support and develop local groups

10 The National Association of Young People in Care Ban the Book campaign Gizza Say? Reviews and Young People in Care Sharing Care, NAYPICS Evidence to the 1984 House of Commons Social Services Committee Carried out surveys – files, leaving care, guidebooks, sexual health and parenthood Evidence to Wagner Review of Residential Care Major impact upon law, policy and practice

11 Black and In Care s evidence of over-representation of Black and mixed parentage young people in care Black and In Care conference: topics explored o Fostering o Origins, culture and racism o Mixed parentage o Leaving care Black and In Care and NAYPIC

12 A National Voice today Context – demise of NAYPIC in 1994; People Like Us, The Utting Report, 1997 – in response to abuses in care A National Voice launched in 1997 Me, Survive, Out There? and Amplify Fun event 2002 Campaigns to end bin bagging, make sleepovers easier, national minimum leaving care grant, improve accommodation 2010 Report on the emotional wellbeing of young people o 80% found life very difficult and emotional problems affected most of their lives – relationships, education, employment and leisure o Most found it difficult in approaching mental health services LILAC project, Children in Care Councils, Pledges Evidence to the House of Commons Committee

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14 A young persons history of care Began with special arrangements Care seen as stigmatising and controlling – owing more to the poor law legacy than new professional thinking? Being black and in care – a white care? A history of punishment and abuse in care? A failure to compensate many young people – educationally, developmentally and emotionally

15 Reflections: what did the rights movement achieve? Children Act 1989 – stronger legal framework o Complaints procedures o Young people leaving care o Racial origin, culture and language Consultative rights – wishes and feelings Developments in participation – at both an individual and policy level Local group impact – personal development Young people challenging injustices – different from professional concern A story of Individual and collective resilience A story of young people

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17 Reflections: recurring themes From order books to bin bags Context – changes in the care system Placement movement and disruption Stability, high quality care – foundations of well-being Loss of family and a positive identity for care Leaving care at too early an age Supporting young people on their pathways to adulthood Wide variations in the quality of care


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