Speech by The Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE in House of Lords during the passage of the Children and Families Bill
The launch of the Group coincided with the Children & Families Bill as it passed through the House of Lords. ACRCG worked with Baroness Young who contributed to the debate and argued for an amendment to be inserted into the Bill to make provision for the rights of Adult Care Leavers to have un-redacted copies of their care records, standards introduced for Local Authorities to meet and a Defence of ‘reasonable justification’ for Information and Governance Departments to change the cautious approach adopted to redaction of records. Government did not commit to amending the legislation but the Minister for Children undertook to issue statutory guidance to apply to care leavers up to the age of 25.
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DfE issues statutory guidance to local authorities about responsibilities and good practice when a person asks to see their care records
ACRCG led by Baroness Young of Hornsey submitted proposals for statutory guidance which the Department for Education and Government accepted. Binding guidance was issued in May 2014: this guidance applies only to England not the four nations
To read an edited version of the guidance in pdf form click here
The Care Leavers’ Association (CLA) and ACRCG promote the statutory guidance
Care Leavers Association (CLA) together with ACRCG, supported with funds and the use of venues from members of ACAL(Association of Child Abuse Lawyers), held a series of round table workshops to promote the statutory guidance and to find out from front line practitioners and managers how Subject Access Requests under the Data Protection Act are dealt with, the barriers to good practice and the supports provided to adult care leavers.
Darren Coyne [CLA] and Peter Garsden [ACAL] led the work and roundtable discussions to inform the Report. Care Leavers contributed personally and through a powerful film they had made setting out their experiences when asking for their care records: the film was shown to delegates. Six meetings took place in different areas across England. CLA and ACRCG collaborated to report the findings and supported by ACAL and other participants to make recommendations calling for legal changes to create a dedicated and ‘fit for purpose’ process for adult care leavers asking to see care records. CLA published the final report.
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Launch of the Roundtables Report in the House of Lords
CLA organised together with ACRCG a seminar to publish the Report and its findings. The event was hosted and chaired by Baroness Young of Hornsey at the House of Lords and was sponsored by lawyers from ACAL (Association of Child Abuse Lawyers). Various invited guests attended and spoke including Lemm Sissay and Edward Timpson MP (Minister for Children) and adult care leavers.
The paper is entitled "It’s my journey: it’s my life, it’s my identity! Care Leavers and access to social care files." It provided conclusions drawn from the round tables as to the way in which conditions for Care Leavers, who access their file could be improved
CLA commission research with adult care leavers’ participation from Manchester Metropolitan University
The Care Leavers Association in a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University interview and report on the accounts of adult care leavers’ experiences of asking for their records.
CLA publish the Report in November 2017
It is entitled "Battling with a "care-less" process" - Becky Clarke and Karen Kent, Manchester Metropolitan University 2017
Local Authority Freedrom of Information Survey
ACRCG worked with Barnardo’s and CLA to make a Freedom of Information Request to all Local Authorities in England. We asked two questions seeking to ascertain what data they kept of the number of requests for records made by care leavers. The analysis was reported in September 2018.
To read more of what we discovered when the Local Authorities responded click here
J Leon Charitable Trust grant funds to ACRCG to hold an invitation seminar and develop further