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The Entitlements Inquiry: Report with recommendations

There were 91,000 looked-after children in the UK in 2012.1 There are 68,110 looked after children in England.2 During 2013, 9,990 children aged 16 years of age and over ceased to be looked after in England alone.3 All of these children in care and care leavers rely on their corporate parents to provide them with all that a good parent should provide, including a safe place to live and support with their education. This support includes money to attend positive activities like sports teams and drama groups, buy clothes and go on school trips. This support is enshrined in legislation and guidance as rights and entitlements for those in the local authority’s care. However, looked-after children and care leavers do not always get what they are entitled to. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked-After Children and Care Leavers launched an inquiry to find out more about the extent of this problem.

The inquiry took evidence from 17th April to 17th August 2013. Over this time we heard from over 965 individuals and groups, including:

  • Children and young people who are currently in care and care leavers under 25 by taking part in surveys, group work sessions and an online questionnaire;
  • Care leavers who are older than 25 through an online questionnaire and written submissions;
  • Carers and professionals who work with looked-after children and care leavers through an online survey; and
  • A number of professional organisations which submitted written responses.

We had a large number of responses from each of these groups.

  • 324 young people took part in the survey;
  • More than 120 young people took part in group work sessions in at least 31 local authorities across the country;
  • 31 older care leavers took part in the survey;
  • 474 people responded to the professionals’ survey;
  • We had over 15 written submissions from organisations.