We believe that every child in care should be guaranteed care up to the age of 18 but new government legislation will leave thousands* of children without care every year.
The government has introduced new legislation that, from September 2021, will ban councils from putting children aged 15 or younger in unregulated accommodation such as bedsits, flats and shared housing.
Ministers say 16 and 17 year-olds don’t need this protection and they can manage in accommodation where they don’t receive any care.
This decision has let down thousands of children and is a serious blow to the many organisations and care experienced people who have been campaigning for better regulation.
Instead of making sure all children in care receive care, the government has promised national standards for accommodation for 16 and 17 year-olds.
But these standards will deliberately omit care.
This is because quality standards already exist for establishments which provide children with care and accommodation (children’s homes standards) and they must be followed by law.
The government’s actions create a two-tier care system where children aged 15 and younger are guaranteed care, and those aged 16 and 17 can go without.
We are calling on you to join us and stand up for the children this disastrous policy decision will affect.
*At any one time there are around 6,000 children in care living in unregulated homes in England. However, the Children’s Commissioner for England found that 12,800 children in care spent some time in unregulated provision across the year in 2018/19.