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Challenges faced by young people

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Being young can be tough. Children and young people who are ‘looked after at home’ can face many additional challenges.

They may have experienced or still be experiencing the following:

  • Neglect
  • Abuse including sexual abuse
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Witnessing drug and/or alcohol abuse OR have their own difficulties with addiction
  • Parental/Carer mental health problems OR their own mental health problems
  • Parental/Carer financial difficulties – poverty
  • Parental unemployment
  • Instability at home and/or poor housing
  • Lots of paid professionals in their life who come and go
  • Uncertainty over future living arrangements or face the risk of being removed
  • Offending behaviour (their own or that of a parent or carer)

‘It is believed that young people on home supervision experience a range of poor outcomes relative both to their non looked after peers and to their looked after and accommodated peers.’ (Overseen but often Overlooked Report by Barnardo’s  2015)

Studies have also found that children who are looked after at home had less favourable educational outcomes than the general population and that they have suffered from discrimination at school and in their communities.

  • High rates of exclusion
  • Bullying
  • Changes of school
  • Stigma of being looked after
  • Creating and maintaining friendships
  • Lack of support
  • Poor educational attainment

In 2014 grounds for referral were investigated for 2,805. 583 of these grounds were for not attending school’
SCRA (Henderson, Black and Lamb, 2014)

Children and young people looked after at home have poorer educational outcomes than other groups, including those looked after away from home’

‘Children on home supervision fare worse in regard to contact and support from a social worker, and having an up-to-date care plan and reviews. Practice is variable, with some children receiving a better service than others’