The Liberal Democrats have agreed upon a new deal for Care Leavers at their party conference today. The package calls for support measures for Care Leavers particularly in the area of education.
The party is calling for further provision to support carers right the way through their education, with support measures proposed from the early teens right the way to further education.
The motion calls for young people and Care Leavers to have specialised mentoring, extra exam support and tuition. The package also calls on the Government to increase the Care Leaver Bursary from £1,000 to £2,000.
The Liberal Democrat motion focusing particularly on education comes as almost 100,000 children in care across the UK face disadvantaged in their early life.
The Liberal Democrats have called the situation for Care Leavers desperate in too many cases and accused the Government of letting them down. They have called for the Government to do all they can to ensure Care Leavers get a better deal in life and an opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Research from CentrePoint found that an estimated 1 in 4 young Care Leavers have had to sofa surf, 14% of young have slept rough, 40% are unable to pay the required deposit for housing, and 57% feel unsafe in the area they originally lived in.
A lack of support to Care Leavers has led to poorer outcomes later in life with only 12% having entered higher education by the age of 23.
Commenting on the Liberal Democrats new policy to provide support to young people in care, Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson, Munira Wilson MP said:
Children across the country and Care Leavers are being let down horrifically by this Conservative Government, they deserve far more support. Our young people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their circumstances early on in life.
The Conservatives cannot dare claim to be the party of opportunity while they let Care Leavers down so badly, they must give them a better deal, which starts by supporting them in their education.
The Government needs to make funding available to support these young people in care or risk failing a generation.
The Liberal Democrat motion will call for:
- All Care Leavers to have access to support in the form of advisors or mentors up until the age of 25.
- All 16-year-olds to be allowed the opportunity to stay in care until the age of 25.
- Children in care to be supported with exam resists and revision by both local authorities and schools.
- Children in care and Care Leavers to be given access to special meetings to encourage them to explore their future and given full information on apprenticeships, sixth forms, colleges and universities.
- Children in care to be offered tutoring and mentoring from the age of 13 provided by local authorities and schools.
Reseach from CentrePoint – https://centrepoint.org.uk/about-us/blog/from-care-to-where/