Laura Sharman 05 July 2022

Over a fifth of children in care see family too little, research shows

Over a fifth of children in care see family too little, research shows image
Image: New Africa / Shutterstock.com

A 'significant' number of young people and children in care are unhappy with the contact arrangements with their families, a new report has shown.

The research by Coram Voice and The Rees Centre at University of Oxford found over a fifth of children felt they saw their mums, dads and siblings too little, leaving them feeling sad, angry and unsettled.

The children surveyed said inconvenient visiting times, long distances, the costs of travel, their family’s circumstances, and workers failing to make necessary arrangements were why they say their family less often than they wanted.

Young people in residential care were more dissatisfied with how often they saw their family compared to other types of placements, according to the report.

Linda Briheim-Crookall, head of policy and practice development at Coram Voice, said: 'The recent Care Review suggested the primary objective of the care system should be promoting the formation of lifelong loving relationships around children in care and care leavers. This can only be achieved if more is done to build rather than break relationships with the people who are already important to children in care. Our research showed that there is still some way to go to make this happen.

'Services and workers must listen to children and young people about who they want to see, when and how and seek to make this happen. Children in care should have the opportunity to spend time with the people who are important to them doing everyday things like playing games, having a meal or going for a walk with the dog.'

The report also found half of young people did not feel involved in decisions social workers made about their lives.

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