According to Catch22, less than 1% of children are in care, yet almost a quarter of the adult prison population and almost half of young men under 21-years-old in the criminal justice system have spent time in care. Also, 25% of homeless people have been in care.
These statistics are clearly very disproportionate, so now the question is why? Barnardo’s tells us that in England 21% of children leaving care are as young as 16, 16% leave care at 17, and 62% at 18. The UK average for young people leaving home is 26. If you cast your mind back to when you were 16, do you honestly think you would be well prepared to enter adult life?
Even when people this young move out from their parent’s house, a lot of the time they continue to receive love, support, and even financial assistance to help guide them through the difficulties. The lack of this can end up with them getting involved in crime and drugs, which consequentially leads to them not going through education and achieving good qualifications. Only 6% of care leavers go on to higher education, as opposed to the 49% of the UK population that participate in university or some other form of HE.
Aspire4U is supporting the Dudley Children In Care and Care Leavers Youth Council to deliver the Dudley Children in Care Awards 2018. This is an important event in the Dudley Council social action calendar. A team of young people are delivering this event to mark the positive achievements of young people in care. The awards will also have categories for employers that have supported and prioritised care leavers. That’s All Media will be helping to film the event and develop a promotional video for more awareness.
Charities like Catch22, Barnardo’s, Care Leavers Association, and a wealth of others are all interested in tackling this issue. Someone needs to speak up for care leavers and they would love your help. You can even join a Facebook page here if you are a care leaver yourself and want to be part of a network, or just someone wanting to give their support for this great cause
Written by: Aiden Perrins
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