The House of Commons Education Committee has published a report entitled “Into Independence, not Out of Care: 16 Plus Care Options,” which focuses on the inadequate accommodation young adults receive after leaving the care system in England.
The report focuses on several core issues, and offers recommendations for each area including;
- The safety of ‘other arrangements’ (placements in a family or domestic setting, where the adults responsible for their care/support are not approved as foster carers) must be improved.
- The use of bed and breakfasts as accommodation used to house young adults leaving the care system should be banned out rightly.
- The Staying Put policy should be extended to allow young people living in residential children’s homes to stay there beyond the age of 18.
Regarding the report, Graham Stuart, chair of the Education Committee, said “For too many looked after young people, their ambition to move to semi-independent or independent living at the age of 16 or 17 results in them being placed in accommodation that is neither safe nor suitable. The lack of regulation and inspection for the range of accommodation used is shocking. The [Department for Education] asserts that B&Bs are not considered to be suitable. Their continued use shows that the current guidance is clearly inadequate. The message is plain; B&Bs are not suitable and should only be used in extreme, emergency situations and even then, never for more than a few days.”
The full report published by the House of Commons Education Committee can be found HERE.