Principles of Care focuses on five key areas: where the child lives (their placement), their education, leaving care, the system itself (particularly the ways in which it needs to support and inform young people) and what should happen when things go wrong in care. It explores why each of these aspects of the care system is crucially important; what happens at the moment and what children and young people’s experiences in these areas should be.
Running through Principles of Care are two golden threads: strong, caring, enduring relationships and the importance of being listened to and having your views acted on.
Our steps for change are not based on political vogue or what is immediately deliverable. Our ideas are based on research and what children and young people and those who care and work with them tell us. We have not been constrained by financial or political limitations. Just as a good parent would make sacrifices for their own children, we expect the state to make similar sacrifices and compromises in order to provide children in care and care leavers with the childhood and future that they deserve.
We want to ensure that everyone remembers that at the heart of the care system are children. Children who are likely to have had traumatic experiences before entering care, but also children with hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, talents and challenges. We want every single one of these children to have a stable and secure childhood on which to build happy and successful adult lives.
We hope that Principles of Care will provide food for thought and inspiration for those who share the journey towards making that vision a reality.