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Three in five children in care have their belongings lost or damaged when moving

A new campaign is calling on local authorities to treat young people with “dignity and respect” when they move home.

19/01/22

Three in five children in care have their belongings lost or damaged when moving


The new national campaign has been launched to ensure that care-experienced children and young people have their belongings treated with dignity, care and respect when they move home.

The campaign comes after research revealed that four in five children and young people in care say they had their belongings moved in bin bags, while three in five said they had their belongings lost or damaged when moving.

One care leaver, 18-year-old Daniel, described the practice of his belongings being moved in bin bags as “inhumane” and “humiliating”.

The report research also found, from an FOI request, that only 1 in 3 Local Authorities have formal written guidance to support staff when moving children and young people in care.

The ‘My Things Matter’ campaign, launched by the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is calling for all local authorities across England and Wales to sign up to a pledge outlining five promises when moving children and young people in care.

The campaign asks local authorities to end the practice of moving the belongings of children in care in bin bags, as well as providing written guidance helping professionals and young people in the moving process. They also ask that local authorities enshrine in writing that belongings will never be moved or thrown away without the child’s consent, and that children in care will be supported to make a complaint if any of their belongings have been lost or damaged during their move.

Rita Waters, CEO of the NYAS Group said: “All too often for children in care, they have a negative experience when moving from one home to another; it’s not good enough and needs to change.”

Neath Port Talbot Council are the first local authority to sign the pledge, with local authorities who do so being eligible to receive free pack-away travel bags to provide to children in their care when they move.

Dave Linton, founder and CEO of Madlug, who are partnering with NYAS to provide the bags, said they will be donating a bag to care-experienced children for every sale of one of their products.
“I am excited to be partnering with NYAS in the ‘My Things Matter’ campaign because we can increase awareness of the bin bag issue, challenge local authorities to treat their incredible children with value, worth and dignity, along with providing a practical solution to enable the execution of their commitment.”

Find out more about the campaign and full report: https://www.nyas.net/campaigns/my-things-matter/

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