“Care Experience should be a protected characteristic”, writes ShowUsYouCareToo campaigning group to Care Review in open letter
Today, a group of care experienced individuals have come together under the campaigning name ‘ShowUsYouCareToo’ to ask the Independent Review for Children’s Social Care, headed by Josh MacAlister, to recommend that care experience becomes a protected characteristic in law. The group are appealing to care experienced people alongside the general public to co-sign their open letter.
If care experience was a protected characteristic, government and public bodies would have a strengthened legal duty to uphold the rights of 100,000 care leavers up to the age of 25 in England, and over 80,000 children currently in care, as well as an estimated one million care-experienced people across the UK.
One impact of the change sought would be that public bodies, including councils, the NHS and Police, would be required by law to consider how their policies and practices affect care experienced people and take steps to remove disadvantages they face. Decision-makers would have an obligation to consider the needs of care experienced people, without the community having to ask, explain or plead.
The group says that the cliff-edge in support that care-leavers face would be minimised, as every person who has at any stage of their life, or for any length of time, been in care would be recognised as care experienced and entitled to additional support and consideration.
The campaign is being supported the Together Trust, a charity established in 1870 that provides services to care experienced people, as well as people with disabilities, autism and mental health needs.
Notes to Editors
Where people can co-sign: https://secure.togethertrust.org.uk/care-experience-should-be-protected-characteristic
What is a Protected Characteristic?
ShowUsYouCareToo Steering Group
Lucy Croxton, Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager for the Together Trust