My lack of sympathy for the current United Kingdom Conservative-led coalition government is a secret I have tried desperately to keep, though not, I confess, entirely successfully. It is a government which has not altogether covered itself in glory in its treatment of troubled families and troubled children and so the announcement made today, December 4th, 2013, by the government minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, that children being looked after in foster care in England will continue, if they so wish, to have their foster care and support funded until the age of 21, is one to be welcomed. This is something that foster carers and others involved in the care and education of children looked after in the care system have long called for.
John Stein writes :
I agree with your comment about residential child care being 'first resort' rather than last resort. I couldn't agree more. (Except that I strongly prefer the term, 'residential treatment' to residential care). Virtually every child I met in residential placement needed coordinated treatment in the life space. 'Care,' especially here in Louisiana, implies 3 meals a day and a roof and a bed with an adult with no more than a high school education to look after them. After all anyone can care for kids. That attitude is all too pervasive in our social work profession here, and it runs the programs.