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Our open letter to make care better 

Share our open letter, signed by care-experienced young people, calling on the next Government to make care better, and read our full manifesto for change.

Care-experienced young people tell our new Parliament it’s Time To Show You Care.

An open letter to the next UK Government from care-experienced children and young people

Dear Leaders of all Political Parties,

The next Government needs to deliver change for care-experienced children and young people. There are 84,000 children in care in England right now, and far too many of them are being let down by a care system that is not meeting their needs.    

Not enough safe, stable and suitable homes means too many children are forced to live apart from brothers and sisters and face daily instability as they’re moved miles away from everything they know, sometimes multiple times a year, and often without warning.  Decisions on where children live are being driven by financial pressures and what is available rather than by a child’s wishes and feelings, and what is in their best interests.  

Young people are made to leave care before they are ready, often on their 18th birthday – and for many even younger. They face a care cliff of support, expected to become independent overnight without a safety net to fall back on, leaving a disproportionate number facing homelessness. 

For far too many young people the care system is disrupting their education, impacting their mental health, breaking their connections and leaving them isolated and without a voice.  

As care-experienced children and young people, we are standing alongside Become – the charity for children in care and young care leavers – and calling on you to show you care by: 

Urgently reforming the care system so every child has the love, care and stability they need

The number of children in care being moved from home to home, school to school, sometimes multiple times a year and often without warning should be ringing alarm bells. There needs to be sustainable investment and stronger accountability so that children in care can live in stable homes that meet their individual needs. 

Putting young people’s voices at the heart of the care system

Children and young people affected by care must have their voices heard so changes made are meaningful and truly reflect their experiences. That means listening before, during and after making decisions about reform and ensuring young people have ways to hold decision makers to account.  

Making children’s relationships a key consideration in all decisions

Care-experienced children and young people have a right to enjoy and maintain strong and stable relationships with the places and people that matter most to them. Every effort should be made to prevent children being separated from their siblings. 

Ending the care cliff so young people can make a positive start to adulthood

Each year thousands of 18-year-olds face a care cliff where important support and relationships disappear, and they are expected to leave care and become independent overnight without a safety net to fall back on. Care-experienced young people should be supported to start adult life in good accommodation, without debt and with the skills to sustain this, and have the same opportunities to fulfil their aspirations in higher education or employment as non-care experienced young people. 

Improving the support provided to children and young people by other public services

Care-experienced children and young people come in to contact with many different public services, from health, education and transport services to the welfare, criminal justice and immigration systems. They can provide crucial support, but can also be inconsistent, inadequate or even harmful. We need to see these important services taking a trauma informed, compassionate and pro-active approach when working with care-experienced children and young people, to make sure they get the best support when they need it. 

The next government must have higher aspirations for care-experienced children and young people and deliver meaningful change.  

“Would this be appropriate for my child?” should be the litmus test. It’s about making decisions in our best interests’ – Care-experienced young person, aged 21 

It’s time to show you care.

Yours Sincerely,

 

Stephen, Lancashire                                                   Yasmin, Norfolk

Jazmin, Essex                                                                 Laura, Essex

Kieran, Dorset                                                                Duncan, Surbiton

Rorey, Greater Manchester                                      Isabelle, Liverpool

Maryum, Essex                                                               Aimee, Bedfordshire

Robin, Gloucestershire                                               Kevin, Greater London

Shaniya, London                                                            Louise, Hammersmith

Iesha, West Yorkshire                                                  Holly, London

Aaliyah, London                                                             Abigail, North Yorkshire

Chloe, Oxford                                                                  Jessica-Rae, Greater Manchester

China, Buckinghamshire                                           Syleena, Enfield

Anandita, Bristol                                                            Sophie, Cheshire West

Katie, Basingstoke                                                       Anisa, Greater London

Freya, Lincolnshire                                                       Izaac, Greater London

Jacob, Surrey                                                                  D’onyx, London

Elena, Bristol                                                                   Rachel, Kent

Honey, South England                                               Clare, Nottinghamshire

Ajaz, West Midlands                                                   Shaun, Barnet

Matthew, Swindon                                                       Sebastian, County Durham

Lois, Bromley                                                                 Ian, Sunderland

Kayleigh Brown, Warwickshire                             Amy, London

Florence, East Durham                                            Georgie, Kent

Lucy, Berkshire                                                           Malachi, Northamptonshire

Angelina, Lancashire                                               Samantha, London

Gail, Durham                                                               Samira, London

Lynette, South Wales                                              David, England

Katie, London                                                             Kira, Somerset

Amber-Jane, Somerset                                          Riley, Dorset

Kieran, Somerset                                                     Shannon, Hertfordshire

Kelli, Hertfordshire                                                 Hope, Rutland

Julian, Suffolk                                                           Louise, Bristol

Georgia, Lancashire                                               Ebony, West Yorkshire

Michael, Greenwich                                                Arshan, London

Melanie, Oxfordshire                                             Ella, West Midlands

Lucy, Surrey                                                               Sasha, Berkshire

Humerah, South Yorkshire                                  Marcia, Surrey

Mary, Greater Manchester                                  Jasmine, London

Kay, Manchester                                                       Amy, London

Leon, Somerset                                                          Zoe, Huntingdonshire

 

We will update the signatories periodically.

 

Add your voice to our asks to the Government

What best describes you?

Our manifesto 

It's time to show we care. What we are calling on party leaders to do:

  1. Urgently reform the care system so every child has the love, care and stability they need.
  2. Make children’s relationships a key consideration in all decisions.
  3. End the care cliff so young people can make a positive start to adulthood.
  4. Improve the support provided to children and young people by other public services.
  5. Put young people’s voices at the heart of the care system.

In April 2024, we launched our manifesto for the next government to have higher aspirations for care-experienced children and young people and deliver meaningful change.

1. Tweet your MP

One way you can get involved is to Tweet your MP, put in your postcode and you can @ your MP to let them know about our open letter, signed by care-experienced young people.

Your MP for


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Tweet your MP

2. Share our asks with people you know & decision-makers

Reshare our asks on social media. Download the graphic below and tag us so we can share!

3. Write to your MP

Another way that you could share our open letter & manifesto is by writing to your MP. You can find out who they are by putting in your postcode above or by going to WriteToThem.co.uk.

If you’re stuck for how to word your email or letter, we have a template you can download here.

Don’t forget to add your address so they know you live in their area, WriteToThem says: “It’s a waste of time writing to MPs other than your own; your message will be ignored.”

Want to stay in contact with us, hear more about our work and become a regular supporter of Become?

Are you a care-experienced young person?

We would love for you to support our five areas of change we want to see by adding your name to our open letter.

Your signature matters!

Sign our open letter

To sign the open letter, we'd like to add your name & location. Please note: Some of these questions are optional. Please only provide this information if you are happy for them to be on the open letter.

Are you care-experienced?(Required)
I am aged 27 or under(Required)
E.g. Bedford or Norfolk. You can put 'N/A' if you do not wish to give your location or you can be more vague and say 'South England' if you'd prefer.
This will NOT go on the open letter, this is just in case we might need to double check anything.
Please only provide your last name if you are happy for it to be on the open letter.
Are you over or under 18 years old?
Is this the first time you will be able to vote in a General Election?
This will not appear on the website.

Our open letter & manifesto

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