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New Guidance Published For Children in Care & Care Leavers
The guidance, published by the Department of Education, is in accordance to the changes made in the Children and Social Work Act 2017. The guidance outlines how social workers, along with other care professionals, should be supporting both children in care and care leavers.
The key focus of the two documents is on how extending personal advisors up to the age of 25 for care leavers should now be implemented to ensure it is in line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017. Also, the guidelines advise on how the education of children in care and previously looked-after children can be supported.
Moreover, the guidelines outline the duties of the care professionals concerned with these groups of young people. To help with this, the government has announced an increase in funding for the implementation, along with extra money for new projects and care leavers.
In regards to looked-after children in schools, the guidance has stated: “Social workers, (Virtual School Heads), (Independent Reviewing Officers), school admission officers, and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) departments should work together to ensure that, except in an emergency, appropriate education provision for a child is arranged at the same time as a care placement.”
It goes on to say that Virtual School Heads, in charge of endorsing the educational achievements of the looked-after children in their care, must ensure that there is sufficient training for those professionals responsible for ensuring that young people’s education needs are met.
Children’s minister, Nadhim Zahawi, declared that the government would increase funding for the Personal Adviser extension to over £12 million by 2021, and would provide £7 million a year until 2020 for the extension of the Virtual School Heads scheme.
Zahawi said: “Leaving care can be difficult and we want to improve the support available to these young people so they are not navigating life’s milestones alone. The programmes we are announcing today will help care leavers make the transition to adulthood more smoothly, improving the opportunities available to them whether in education, employment or training.”