APPG for looked after children and care leavers launches own inquiry into the care system

A parliamentary group is launching its own investigation to shine a light on common issues and innovative practice, with hopes that the new inquiry can support the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England in a “constructive way”.

09/03/21

APPG for looked after children and care leavers launches own inquiry into the care system

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Looked After Children and Care Leavers has launched its Spotlight Inquiry, which aims to shine a light on the care system – or systems – across the country.

The inquiry was launched in response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England, led by former Frontline Chief Executive Josh MacAlister, which began officially earlier this month.

The APPG for Looked After Children and Care Leavers says its Spotlight Inquiry will “gather valuable evidence and insights to inform the review” in a “constructive way”.

“We want to put the spotlight on how experiences in and after care can be improved in ways which recognise and harness communities,” said the group in a statement.

Care-experienced young people often report feeling less connected to their communities, “dislocated” from where they may have been before and stigmatised where they may be now, the group says.

“Navigating messy concepts of identity and belonging is often even more difficult for care-experienced people given the instability, inconsistent relationships, and lack of agency experienced by many before, during and after their time in care.”

The parliamentary group said the care system was facing a moment where it “risks destabilising further young people’s connections to the communities that matter to them”, citing a sharp increase in the number of children living outside of their local area.

The group criticised what it called a “postcode lottery of support and provision” and condemned “continued public misunderstanding” about what it means to live in care.

“Any successful review of children’s social care must consider the power of community,” the group said.

As part of the Spotlight Inquiry, the APPG is coordinating a series of online regional evidence sessions chaired by local MPs to gather evidence and hear about innovative work happening across the country.

The APPG will also reach out directly to hear from other groups of care-experienced young people where they are most comfortable to share their views by allowing people to contribute to the Inquiry through their own online sessions.

In addition, a call for evidence has been opened with submissions encouraged from anyone with personal or professional experiences of care, as well as organisations with an interest in improving the care system.

To find out more about the inquiry, visit https://www.becomecharity.org.uk/improving-the-care-system/appg/spotlight-inquiry

To contribute to the Inquiry through your own online session, you can email the APPG at appg@becomecharity.org.uk.

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