When the #CareExpConf Team Met the Education Minister

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

The @careexpconf team delegates discuss the "asks" & key messages from our care experienced family with the Sec of State for Education Gavin Williamson & Chief Social Worker Isabelle Trowler on Monday. We hope, this might be the beginning of a change in how consultation is done & how care is delivered.

We were impressed by the sincerity of the Education Minister. He asked 'How can we instil love in the care system?" We suggested DfE ask the #CEP #CareExperienced community by hosting a conference, bringing together our community as we did.

The Minster was reflective about the mental health needs of #careexperienced people saying he thought a cross-gov approach needed to understand & support #CEP

needs better.

We were able to share our key messages & our 4 "asks" about care records, mental health support, support past 25 for higher education & how to bring "love" into a care system sadly lacking in it. A very helpful discussion in which we all engaged.

The# careexpconf team look forward to future discussions with key people to pursue the areas for reform identified by care experienced people themselves.

Worth remembering that not only

@educationgovuk are responsible for the welfare of young people in care & care experienced people. So many different agencies & government departments who must step up too. "It takes a village to raise a child." It's time for real cross government corporate parenting now.

It's important to repeat what care experienced people at Careexpconf said. Joined up, continuous individualised mental health & emotional support for care experienced folk from day 1 in care into adulthood is massively inadequate. This needs multi disciplinary attention now.

The Minister Tweeted "It was a pleasure to have the @Careexpconf

delegation in today. Glad you felt it was worthwhile, I certainly did. Young people in care and those leaving it need as much support as we can give them. I hope some of the things we'll be talking about in the next few days will help." And this press release on Vital new support for young people leaving care was released today

Ian Dickson chair of the care experienced conference organising group said “the Secretary of State reallylistened really. He reflected that our commitment to care experienced people should be a lifelong one – similar to that towards members of the Armed Forces. We thought he really got it: care experience is a continuous lifetime experience bringing different needs at different stages that may not accord with the statutory definition of care and leaving care - care does not end at 18, 21 or 25.”

Jamie Crabb a member of the care experience conference organising group said “the Secretary of State was very reflective about the mental health needs of care experienced people, saying that he thought a cross-government approach would be needed to understand these needs better and make sure people get help when they need it. This was something that people are who attended the care experience conference felt really strongly about and they will be pleased to hear that their messages have been heard.”

Paul Yusuf McCormack a member of the care experience conference organising group said "we emphasised to the Secretary of State what a reservoir of knowledge and experience sits within the care experience community. He was surprised to hear that there are estimated to be over 400,000 people with care experience in our population, which means there are over 58,000 in London and approaching 600 in his own constituency. He could see that engaging with this hidden population represents an important opportunity to improve things for children in care as well as people of all ages who have experience of care and was very encouraging about the potential for what could be done.”

Our friend chief social worker

Isabelle Trowler tweeted "Thanks for coming to this everyone @Careexpconf An important landmark for people with care experience, politicians & policy teams."

Thankyou to our #CareExperienced #CEP community - our messages are clear and we will continue to work for true, meaningful change.


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