On 1st November 2016, Forward Thinking’s Research and Development Officer, Jordan Morgan, met with Edward Timpson MP, Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, policy makers from the Department for Education and careleavers from across England. Holistic discussions explored initiatives to support young people in their transition from residential and foster care into adulthood. The meeting provided the opportunity to consider Sir Martin Narey’s residential care review and the role of the Government in supporting care leavers, both in policy and in practice.
Jordan voiced challenges exposed during extensive interviews with London based care leavers, as part of an advocacy initiative, set up in partnership with the Drive Forward Foundation.
The advocacy initiative attempts to break down barriers young people face on a daily basis by better understanding underlying issues, from independent living through to sustainable employment, and then communicating those challenges to decision makers at the national level.
The initiative has highlighted significant shortcomings in the implementation of social housing policy and reform for vulnerable and isolated young people. Issues communicated by London’s care leavers include: a lack of affordable social housing; inadequate social housing allocation and types of tenancy; loss of moral imperative by housing associations; young people unable to move into work, dependent on benefits, in worrying rent arrears and/or facing long term housing insecurity-even homelessness.