Let me run a few statistics by you:
- 40% of 18-21 year olds in Prison or YOI are from care
- 57% of women prisoners are from care
- 1 in 5 homeless people were in care
- 72-75% Re-offend within a year
- It costs 100-200k a year to lock one person up
- Care leavers much more likely to commit suicide
- 80 × more likely a care leavers child would go in care
If we supported young people in care until they were 21 there is no doubt in my mind that this would reduce the long term costs to government.
Another way of looking at it is this; if anything happened in your life and your child was taken in to care because there was no one to look after them, would you want them kicked out at 16 or 17 with no support? Isolated? On their own? No. And we are talking about some of the most vulnerable and damaged kids who have already experienced trauma and lack stability.
All we are asking for, is that equality of support is available until a young person is 21 years old, just as it is for those young people who are fostered which becomes a part of legislation in April 2014.
We dont discriminate against colour, gender ect so why does this government think it is ok to discriminate against kids in Children's homes who arguably need more support?
With regards to residential homes, recent research shows only 5% of homes are inadequate. 82% good or better. The Government need to do something about the ones that aren't up to standard and are expensive with poor outcomes. That is the right thing. Not punish ALL kids in residential care homes because a minority are inadequate.
Shut the bad ones down by all means. I support that too. I work with some Children's homes and they are amazing with all the kids settled and happy. That is because there is a lot of great work being done by them.
I will ask you this. If you agree please sign and let's not let this government discriminate against kids in homes because of where they live!