At Become, we have always viewed the Review as an opportunity for radical reform.
That’s why we called for the review since before its inclusion in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, campaigning and collaborating across the sector to encourage recommendations that are bold, ambitious, and bravely tackle the root issues of England’s failing care system.
How has Become been involved with the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care so far?
We have worked hard to ensure the experiences and expertise of young people were heard by the Review team by:
Responding to the Review’s publications and championing the voices of care-experienced young people
Delivering our own engagement events with young people at the heart
Supporting young people with lived experience to influence and shape the debate on particular issues, including rights and entitlements, stigma and prejudice and leaving care support
Coordinating bigger projects, like the #APPGCare Spotlight Inquiry and our Sky’s the Limit project, which have fed into the Review itself.
We successfully lobbied for care leavers to be included in the scope of the review and have pushed for ambitious reform to #EndTheCareCliff – where support and relationships disappear overnight as a young person turns 18, 21, and 25.
What projects did Become coordinate?
Alongside our responses and engagement with the Care Review, we coordinated two bigger pieces of work to feed into the Review itself. These were:
The Spotlight Inquiry
As Secretariat to the APPG for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, we coordinated the Spotlight Inquiry, hearing from hundreds of people with different personal and professional experiences with care about how to strengthen community links for care-experienced young people and boost wider society’s understanding of and respect for the care-experienced members within our communities.
How did this feed into the Review?
In total, we made 15 practical recommendations and posed five wider challenges that called on the upcoming Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, and subsequent reform, to address.
During National Care Leavers’ Week 2021, we launched a new group project with care-experienced young people to redesign ‘leaving care’ and offer a fresh and aspirational vision for how the care system should be supporting care-experienced young adults.
We decided to think BIG and ask: What if the whole concept of ‘leaving care’ didn’t even exist? What would be there instead?
How did this feed into the Review?
The Sky’s The Limit team produced a design brief, which covered the key things they wanted the Review to consider when designing the detail of what reforms to the care system might look like. This was shared with the Review Team in December 2021.
Yes. We are an independent charity and are not funded by the government. Our positions and messages are always 100% Become.
Just like everything we do at Become, our views and responses concerning the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care have been informed by working alongside care-experienced young people. A huge thanks to our Care Review Policy Team, as well as other young people who have got involved along the way.
Throughout the Review’s process, we have aimed to work positively and constructively with the Review Team to champion care-experienced voices. However, we stand ready to challenge anything that erodes children’s rights and have publicly criticised the Review when we’ve disagreed. But we also believe that the review presents an opportunity for change which we do not want to see wasted for lack of government investment.
Timeline of our responses and engagement
A timeline of what we have done to influence the Review so far:
During National Care Leaver’s Week in October, we co-hosted a panel with the Review Team. Josh MacAlister, chair of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care was joined by an expert panel to consider the question: Does the stigma of care prevent care experienced people from having a fair chance to flourish?