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Support all Looked After Children to 21, St Christopher’s tell MPs

St Christopher’s has told MPs that all children in care have a right to support until they are 21.

The children’s charity has written to the powerful Commons Education Select Committee calling for care to be extended to 21 for children and young people in residential care – not just children who are fostered.

In its submission to the committee’s inquiry into options for 16+ care it stressed that:

  • All Looked After Children should be given the same level of support to help them achieve the best possible future.
  • Children looked after in children’s homes have been overlooked, and disadvantaged, because they will not benefit from the extension of care granted to fostered children.
  • In many cases, children leaving children’s homes may face even more challenges than those leaving foster care and will be in greater need of continuing care and support.
  • The Government should guarantee appropriate care, housing and support to all Looked After Children and young people until they are at least 21.

St Christopher’s also urged the Government to look at regulating 16+ care in a similar way to children’s homes so that children and young people can be assured of high quality care.