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1.The question as Christmas approaches shouldn't be about whether the care system needs reviewing but WHY. It's to achieve better 'outcomes'- whatever that means. It's because this Christmas we will see young careleavers having to choose between feeding themselves & keeping warm>
2. It's because this Christmas we will see young careleavers who won't be able to celebrate Christmas or buy presents for their own kids. Care experienced people who cannot afford rent & face homelessness, despair & utter destitution - 70yrs since the Children Act 1948.. >
3. Its because this Christmas we will see too many care experienced people struggling with stress, emotional trauma & mental ill health, with little or no prospect of getting appropriate mental health support or counselling. Leave care, get forgotten... >
4. It's because this Christmas we will see more care experienced people of all ages denied the opportunity to meet their potential because they can't access or afford higher education because they can't afford fees or accommodation or don't have enough support or a place to live>
5. It's because after decades & the high ideals about consultation of the Children Act 1989 care experienced people still struggle to access their own history & heritage because they can't access files, or files are heavily edited so they can't read what people really said & did>
6. It's because in spite of nearly 30+ yrs of SSI, Inspection & Regn Units, NCSC, CSCI, CQC & Ofsted, we still don't have regulation & monitoring that follows the child, their needs, aspirations & dreams, instead measuring standards, trends, surveys, questionnaires, etc >
7. It's because we still have too many care experienced people living on the streets, in custody, in secure settings, unemployed, unable to access education & training as easily as 'ordinary' people>
8. It's because decades after the CA1989 we still don't see decision makers routinely consulting & engaging care experienced people about care, instead asking 'experts', focus groups & other professionals about the realities of a lifetime care experience that they cannot know>
9. It's because in 2019, it was only the care experienced community & it's friends who cared enough to bring the community together as one community to hear their views. Gov't & the care industry kept their distance & ignored recommendations & simply carried on as usual.
10. It's because as vested interests in the care industry argue about who's the most successful we hear of care experienced people dying in tragic circumstances. Nobody records how many care experienced people die young without support or anyone who cares>
11. Why does the care system need wholesale review? Because it's falling care experienced people at so many levels & nobody seems prepared to listen to what the care community has said or would like to say. Will a meaningful Scottish style care review happen now? Sadly unlikely.
12. So as Christmas 2019 beckons, too many care experienced people will face a bleak celebration & New Year, & only the generosity of lovely people donating and /or offering support & love in their own time will bring joy to some. This is not good enough - time for change in 2020
13. As we enter the last weeks of 2019 & the country thinks of New Year's resolutions, politicians, civil servants, social work managers & providers everywhere might finally resolve to address the 4 'asks' & 10 recommendations made by the care experienced people at @careexpconf?
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