Children’s interests cannot take second place to adult concerns, says a January 2018 report from Coram.
Respected and Protected (pdf) explores the changes Coram would like to see across eight areas:
The eight priorities are as follows:
- Strengthening the legal framework for children, including full incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into UK law
- Ensuring the voices of children are always heard on decisions that matter to them including through an ‘active offer’ of advocacy for children and young people, and that children and young people can be agents of change
- Providing secure loving families for all children who need them including a national priority for the recruitment of sufficient adopters and foster carers
- Access to justice for all children including an increase in the scale and long-term investment in open access to free legal advice for children, young people and families
- Making routes to permanent status accessible to children and young people so that children and young people who are long term residents of the UK are able to regularise their status through timely, affordable processes
- Sufficient adolescent and mental health support including systematic guidance for parents and carers and training for teachers and social workers so they can distinguish early signs of mental illness and are able to refer to specialist support
- Tackling educational exclusion including requirement for a full assessment of needs on the first occasion that any child faces permanent exclusion
- Building capacity and consistent service quality including a review of local government funding formulas to ensure that there is fair distribution of resources for children, young people and families no matter where they live.
Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive of Coram said:
‘Our call for change highlights some of the challenges facing children today and the improvements we want to see to ensure that children have the best possible chance in life.’