Published: Friday, 8th December 2023
Care leavers in Royal Greenwich will be awarded ‘protected characteristic’ status following work by our Children in Care Council.
This recognises that young people’s experience of being in the care system can lead to discrimination, similar to someone’s race or disability.
By taking this step the council will consider the impact on care experienced children and young people whenever we make a new decision, putting their wellbeing at the heart of what we do.
Cllr Matt Morrow, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I would like to thank the Children in our Care Council for promoting this important cause. We are proud of our children and young people with experience of care, many of which go on to achieve incredible things. But we know that life is harder for many care leavers, who face discrimination, stereotyping, and systematic barriers through no fault of their own. It’s our mission to make sure that everyone gets the opportunities and consideration they deserve.
“I’m pleased that councillors unanimously agreed a motion to make sure that we are listening to young people with experience of being in care. In Greenwich, we want every young person to have the best start to life and we can only do that when we recognise that there are people who face additional challenges that are out of their control.”
The Council has corporate parenting responsibilities for children in care as well as adults aged up to 25 who have previously been in the care system.
Chloe Ryan, a Member of the Children in Care Council said: “I am delighted that Council has taken this important decision. As a member of the Children in our Care Council I regularly speak to children and young people who are currently in care or have care experience. Many tell me about the barriers they face when accessing education, housing or trying to get a job. By passing this motion the council recognises these barriers and will pro-actively address these in their work."
The motion, reads in full: “People who are care experienced can face additional challenges in their life. To support people facing these challenges the Royal Borough of Greenwich will treat care experience as a protected characteristic, in any situation where the Equality Act 2010 is relevant.”