In response to today’s Queen’s Speech*, Chloë Cockett, Policy and Research Manager at Become, said: “We welcome the focus on mental health by Government in today’s Queen’s Speech, and we hope the Government use this Parliament to make headway in developing and improving this vital area of healthcare. Ensuring that looked after children and care leavers get the support that they need, when they need it, is crucial, to ensure that they are able to recover and go on to lead happy and fulfilling adult lives.
“Children in care and care leavers must feature prominently in the Green Paper on Children and Young People’s Mental Health, with their particular needs and circumstances taken into specific consideration. These children and young people may have additional needs to their peers outside of the care system, and meeting those needs cannot be done with a one size fits all approach to mental health care.
“We also welcome the commitment of the Government to continue to work towards making it easier for young people to take vocational and technical routes through education, and the expansion of apprenticeships opportunities. However, there are still barriers that care leavers face to accessing apprenticeships, such as requiring 5 A*-C GCSEs, that need to be addressed to ensure that more care leavers are able to benefit from the same opportunities as their non-care experienced peers.”
*The Queen’s Speech happens at the State Opening of Parliament, which happens at the beginning of the parliamentary year. The Queen reads out a list of laws and other things that the Government hopes so do over the coming year.