Secure unit – Children’s Home – disappeared LAC - drug runner – sexually exploited Subject of physical abuse from boyfriend Missed schooling – now costs £1,500 a week Withdrawn, self-harmer – low self-esteem Sexually abused, absconds – returned home No awareness of risk – in independent living Intelligent – no school will take her Neglected, also bright – no support available
Parenting Adults Early Exposure Environment Social-Economic status
by: Parents Family Social Workers Courts School Friends Children in care Themselves
National priorities Local policies Communities Agencies Charities Private providers
Lack of principles Simplistic Solutions Wrong funding priorities Lack of engagement with children Lack of aspiration Lack of creative thinking Outdated measures and targets
Evidence V Assumptions Effective responses V Financial demands Welfare V Exclusivity
There were 65,520 looked after children at 31 March 2011, an increase of 12 per cent since 2008 and rising since the case of Peter Connolly. 56% of all children in care are there because they were abused or neglected 26% are in children’s homes. That means 17,000 are looked after in children's homes or accommodated in institutions (LA or Private), while the rest are in foster care.
More than half of all children in care (53%) leave school with no formal qualifications 13% get 5 A*- C grade GCSEs, compared with 47% of all children. 6% enter higher education. 20% of women who leave care between the ages of 16 and 19 become mothers within a year, compared with just 5% of the total population. Parents who have been through the care system are twice as likely to lose the right to care for their own children.
73 %of school age children looked after have some form of special educational needs – especially social, emotional and behaviour difficulties In the 2009/10 school year, 130 children who had been looked after continuously were permanently excluded from school. 7.9 % of children looked after who were aged 10 or over had been convicted or subject to a final warning or reprimand during the year 4.3 % were identified as having a substance misuse problem during the year 2010.
Prejudice and discrimination Ignorance of Head Teachers Lack of time for Social Workers Statementing procedures Refusal to provide full access No provision for SEBD C-i-C Curriculum does not meet ability
Local Authorities, Charities, Private – with no shared view Panels and Commissioners want more for less Provision for children being withdrawn Education and Social Services are oppositional Providers blind-bid for children Volume equals placement priority
WQ. What do you need to know about the child in order to provide the best service? RQ. Is the money for the child good enough to sustain standards across the company?
Prejudice and discrimination against children Defining the roles of staff in a multi-disciplinary organisation Giving staff trust and responsibility Giving children opportunities Increasing knowledge across society Lack of specialist services Low levels of expectation
Abandon the idea of uniformity Swap the big society for the Small Society Create small units that co-operate Make staff accountable to children Fund the child – not the place Guarantee financial and social inputs and outcomes – access to education Planned opportunities Consistency for all LISTEN AND ACT ON WHAT CHILDREN WANT
13 year old boy -In care since age of 5 Neglected - involved in drugs, prostitution and robbery 23 Children’s homes in next 5 years From given consistently high level of provision in private children’s home Given responsibility for his care plan Now fostered but with all services intact Continuity and opportunities provided
14 year old girl – in care since 11 Sexually abused from age 2 Despite disclosure she was ignored for 7 years In care – sexually exploited by gangs No specific services provided to support her past or future Last 12 months in private children’s home Receives therapeutic interventions, education and consistent caring in small setting.
Positive change can be made when priorities are identified and addressed Resources can be limited but positive management can influence outcomes for the better Hope, high expectations, self-esteem and value for money!
Increase in educational and work prospects Decrease in crime and addiction Improvement in individual and group safety and security The ability to build relationships Improved social behaviours Improved health and increased life expectancy all of which helps break the cycle of failure and despair
Children will continue to be lost uncared for barely provided for “The future is bleak unless we make people in positions of power listen to what we have to say – their understanding of where we are and what we do is woefully lacking. Their ignorance is their defence.” Clarence Jones
Charlie Mead Educational and Child Psychologist