Last night, Become appeared on Channel 4 News to raise awareness of the issues facing children in care and young care leavers right now, and share what we want to see in the Government’s long-awaited plans to transform the care system.
The piece began with a powerful short film about Casey, a young person we work alongside, and her difficult experience of leaving care at age 17 and facing the Care Cliff. Josh MacAlister, chair of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, also featured and said:
The disadvantage faced by the care-experienced community should be the civil rights issue of our time. It’s completely unacceptable – morally, financially, socially – we just shouldn’t accept it.”
From Channel 4 News:
Casey has defied the odds of many young care leavers – but her journey through foster care, being forced from a home she loved, came at a huge personal cost. It was her love of physics and science which inspired her to pull herself out of a life plagued by drink and drugs and to finally find a ‘normal life’ at university studying her favourite subject.
Following Casey’s story, our Chief Executive Katharine Sacks-Jones joined Channel 4 News presenter, Jackie Long, and Chair of BASW, Vava Tampa, live in the studio to discuss the issues of the care system. Katharine explained:
There are record numbers of children in care – over 82,000 – and frankly we have a system that is overwhelmed. And what that means for children is that they’re not getting the standard of care they deserve.
“That means children who are facing very high levels of instability, being moved from place to place (sometimes multiple times a year and often far away from everyone they know)
It means some 16- and 17-year-olds in bedsits and caravans
And it means young people like Casey being forced to leave the care system at the age of 18 often well before they’re ready.”
It’s not good enough – we desperately need reform.
“We need to see a proper level of ambition from the Government.
We have to ask the question: what would you want for your children? And that’s what we should be talking about – because these are all of our children.
We need to make sure that there are enough homes of the right type in the right places for children to live in, and we have to #EndTheCareCliff.”
A huge thank you to Casey for sharing your story with us. We will continue to raise awareness and demand change alongside care-experienced young people that know the care system best – and you can join us by signing up for our newsletter below.