Coram Voice welcomes the ‘Unregulated: Children in care living in semi-independent accommodation’ report by the Children’s Commissioner, that highlights the unlawful use of unregulated accommodation for care experienced young people. However, we also urge the government for further changes to improve the quality of accommodation and support in order to create environments where young people can feel safe and thrive.
Whilst it is a positive step that the unlawful use of unregulated accommodation has been recognised and efforts are being made to ensure that no young person should be placed in unregulated accommodation, often the problem is that accommodation is lawful – but unsuitable, of a low quality or unsafe.
Through Always Heard, the “National Advocacy Advice Helpline and Safety Net for England”, our independent advocates support young people to move from places where they have felt scared, unsupported and in danger on a daily basis.
It is appalling that there are children and young people under the care of the state in 2020 who are left to fend for themselves in this way and in accommodation that is unsuitable. We support calls to urgently ban unregulated accommodation as a first step and support further efforts to guarantee that 16 and 17 year olds receive the full support they need to thrive in safe and suitable housing.
Managing Director of Coram Voice Brigid Robinson said: “We are pleased to see this report from the Children’s Commissioner and back the move to ban unregulated accommodation.
“We are concerned about the quality of accommodation and lack of support and urge the government to help improve the lives of care experienced children and young people by ensuring they have safe, secure places to live.
“At Coram Voice, our independent advocates are committed to making sure young people know their rights and get the support they need.”