I see England’s Children’s Commissioner has said young people in care should be allowed to stay in care until they are 25. How I agree!
At the moment, unless young people are in full time education, a local authority has to break all connections once they reach adulthood. What parent would ever do that to their child? When I was Cabinet Member in Coventry, I arranged against official policy to help some children stay with their foster parents after the date a local authority no longer has legal responsibility because it was clearly the right thing to do. Therefore, I welcome this call from the Commissioner.
I also see the government are putting up an extra £30M to help pay for the cost of finding a family for over 3,000 children and young people waiting to be adopted. Again, how right this is! I organised a summit in early 2013 with the government’s then adoption csar Martin Narey right here in Coventry to explore and learn how we could improve and speed up adoption rates. I am pleased the government are really championing this agenda.
I would encourage all local authorities and adoption agencies to really step up to the mark and make this happen and make sure all our children have their ‘forever family’ to love and cherish them. After all, isn’t that what we want for all our children?