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Ebony's blog 

Two years on from the Independent Review of Children's Social Care, Ebony Watson shares what they think still needs to change in the care system.

The Lack of Change in the Children’s Social Care System

Something I’m passionate about is more support for care leavers. A lot of care leavers are written off once they turn 18 with little support in finding housing, higher education, or job prospects. Luckily, I had amazing A-level teachers who helped and supported my university applications, and I’ve just finished my first year of university studying a subject I love.

However, many care leavers don’t have the same privileges I did. Around 14% of care leavers under the age of 19 progress to higher education compared to 47% of all other children. It’s not just this, but around 10-30% of care leavers experience homelessness at some point in their lives.  

I’m 19 years old, once my social worker signed me off, I had no more visits, no more support was given to me, and I haven’t spoken to her since. I entered care when I was 15 and placed with my grandmother under a foster care agreement, then under a special guardianship order (SGO.) I barely received any emotional or financial support from my local authority, the support I did receive was given to me through school. I needed emotional support, yet I didn’t receive any, something that my nan advocated for to our local authority many times. I suffered a lot with my mental health, specifically with self-harm.

My social worker was aware and tried the best she could to find support for this, but I didn’t receive any mental health support. I needed someone professional to talk to, but they didn’t provide that because I’d just turned 18 and was preparing for university. 

My nan still cares for my siblings, some of whom have disabilities. I’m concerned that they’re not receiving the support they need. When their needs become more complex, will that funding, and support be available?  

Further funding is needed for families not just like mine, but for other families in similar circumstances. We can see how this lack of support and funding affects care leavers. Care leavers make up a quarter of the prison and homeless population in the UK, over 46% of care leavers have been identified to have mental health concerns, and 65% said they didn’t receive any statutory support. Care leavers need to be empowered and made a priority in the social care sector; will they get that support from our local authority?  

When considering the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, I urge the Government to consider care leavers as a priority group. Parenting doesn’t stop at the age of 18, so why should the support? 


Ebony’s blog two years on from the Care Review

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