Foster care is all about ensuring that children can grow up and develop their talents safely. Sadly, many children in foster care will end up in trouble with the police. They have already been disadvantaged in life so it is important that this is not compounded by being criminalised.
There has just been a ruling by the Supreme Court that the warnings and/or reprimands received by young people need no longer to be disclosed to employers. Further, it has been confirmed by the Court that as it currently stands, the system is unlawful. The argument has been made that to do so would breach the human rights of children given cautions. It would lead to their being stigmatised and criminalised for the rest of their lives.
‘Just for Kids Law’ is an organisation that challenged the Home Office Rules. This meant that when deciding if a caution or reprimand is to be disclosed or not disclosed – they stated –
“the same test applies to those who received reprimands or cautions as children to those who receive cautions as adults. We argued that offences committed as children should be treated differently to offences committed as adults.”
The judgment makes it clear that youth reprimands – only given to those under 18 – have now been replaced by youth cautions. And that these should not be disclosed in criminal record checks. As the Head of Strategic Litigation at Just for Kids Law – Jennifer Twite stated:
“Thousands of children are given cautions every year. All of those children who do not offend further as adults will be affected by this ruling, and once the government has made these changes, they will now be able to move on with their lives and be able to get employment without the stigma of revealing the cautions they received as children.”
Foster carers will appreciate why this new ruling is necessary
It is well known by the government that care experienced children will disproportionately end up in trouble with the police. This is despite the fact care experienced young people do not commit criminal offences. Despite this they remain over-represented in the criminal justice system. it is a fact that under one percent of the general population have been in the care system, but Lord Lamming’s review commented on the fact that around fifty per cent of children in custody have been in care.
This disturbing statistic becomes yet more concerning when it is realised that just two per cent of young people are in the care system because of their own “socially unacceptable behaviour”, but sixty per cent are in the system due to abuse and/or neglect.
Join a very special team at Rainbow fostering – 8,000 new foster families needed.
At Rainbow Independent Fostering Agency, we have accrued twenty-one years foster care experience. during this time we have trained many people to become skilled and proficient foster carers. If you would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer within our team, simply call Rainbow on 020 8427 3355. Alternatively, ring our National Line – 0330 311 2845.
As one of the leading IFAs we now have offices in Birmingham and Manchester. We are especially keen to recruit foster carers in these areas. Rainbow are happy to welcome people to foster children who come from a wide range of backgrounds.
We have many foster carers who are single/divorced/married. We also have couples who live together – with or without children. Rainbow have also trained many same-sex couples to foster.
Where possible, Rainbow always strive to place our youngsters with foster carers who reflect their own background and cultural heritage. This means we are always keen to find foster carers from different ethnicities and religions.
Check out a foster carers story at http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/foster-carers-paula/
and for more general interest we suggest the blog http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/foster-21st-century/