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We listen to and work alongside young people with experience of care to identify problems and find solutions to improve the care system, campaigning on the changes we want to see.

Find out about some of our recent policy and campaigns work below and see how to get involved yourself.

 

Too many young people are expected to leave care before they’re ready, falling at a time in their life when they need stability the most. Young care leavers that Become supports have described that time as a “cliff edge” or “like being on death row, counting down the days” until they turn 18 and their placements are abruptly stopped.

During the pandemic, the government has stepped in to protect young people from this upheaval, pledging that ‘no one has to leave care during this period’. This has been a lifeline to many young people. We’re calling on the government to provide clarity on what happens to this pledge in the longer-term, and better yet, to permanently remove the #CareCliff and end the expectation of ‘independence’ asked of young people as they approach 18.

During National Care Leavers’ Week 2020, we launched our campaign to raise awareness of the #CareCliff alongside care-experienced young people and a number of other celebrities and supporters, including actress Samantha Morton, broadcaster DJ Annie Mac and podcaster Deborah Frances-White.

Supporting a review of the care system

 

After Become and others campaigned for a comprehensive review of the care system, the government committed to a review of care in its 2019 manifesto. In February 2020, we coordinated a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Education which outlined what the aims, scope and principles of a meaningful review should be – one which is genuinely independent, evidence-based, and puts care-experienced people at the heart.

In January 2021, the government launched its review of children’s social care. We welcomed the review’s focus on the experiences of children, but warned against a scope which narrowed the emphasis on ‘care’ and missed out young people leaving care. We’re working to ensure the experiences and expertise of young people are heard throughout the review, and will be supporting the Spotlight Inquiry launched by the APPG for Looked After Children and Care Leavers.

 

Too many young people in care live in unregulated settings which can’t provide them with the stability and support they need. Growing use of unregulated accommodation is a symptom and not a solution to the shortage of safe and suitable places for children to live, and the government’s proposed action is insufficient to address this problem.  

We’re proud to be a part of the #KeepCaringTo18 campaign and believe that all children deserve care until the age of 18, no matter where they live. Last year, we jointly produced a young people’s version of the government’s consultation on unregulated accommodation and forced an extension to the deadline for responses to allow more care-experienced people to share their views.

Creating inclusive schools, colleges and universities

 

Some care-experienced young people find school, college or university to be a positive place of comfort and stability, but for others it can be yet another place where they struggle to be understood and respected. We believe all children in care and care leavers need better support to learn and participate in education.

In 2018, we surveyed over 450 teachers about their experience supporting care-experienced young people. Our research found a significant gap in teacher training around the needs of children in care in schools. We want to see attachment and trauma aware schools which understand what young people want their teachers to know.

We also campaign for improved support for care-experienced students in higher and further education, pushing for tailored outreach, targeted support, and real contextualised admissions. We advise and offer training to professionals and sector bodies to help them address barriers and support their learners.

Read ‘“I’m already falling”: Supporting care-experienced and estranged students over the summer’