General Article Government’s refusal to provide care to every child looked after by the state shames Britain

Topic Selected: Child Rights Book Volume: 412

Ministers have failed to see that an absence of care and nurturing lies at the heart of harms to children, says Carolyne Willow.

By Carolyne Willow

On this day, 30 years ago, the UK Government made a pledge to the United Nations that it would honour the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international human rights treaty containing comprehensive state obligations towards children.

Who could have anticipated that today we would be challenging the Government of the world’s sixth-richest nation on its refusal to provide care to every child in its care?

The Office for National Statistics reports that 60% of 22 year olds in the UK still live with their parents. Yet, a third of children in care aged 16 and 17 live in properties where there are no adult carers. The Government is regulating to make the absence of care legitimate and acceptable.

When it is not in their best interests to live with members of their family, or with foster carers or in an establishment registered as a chi...

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