A survey of 233 social care practitioners, carried out as part of a one year on progress report on the rights and entitlements of children in care and care leavers found that many social care professionals admit to having an incomplete understanding of the rights and entitlements of looked-after children and care leavers.
Although 48% said they had all the information they needed to make decisions the survey suggests professionals’ knowledge gap may be wider than they think – upon further questioning, some practitioners who said they had all the information they needed did not know about some of the entitlements for care leavers and looked-after children.
The report, run by the Who Cares? Trust on behalf of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for looked-after children and care leavers described the findings as “concerning” because it highlights the gap in knowledge of key professionals – it cites residential workers, personal advisers, senior care managers and corporate parenting board managers – who children look to as “a reliable source of information”.
Of particular concern was that 37% of children in care said they did not know if they had a care plan and less than half said they had review meetings with practitioners before big decisions about their care were made.
For care leavers, 30% said they did not have a pathway plan and 15% knew that the leaving care grant should be £2,000 but had received less than that amount from their local authority.