One hundred MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to ensure that more looked after children have access to professional independent advocacy.
The Early Day Motion (EDM), tabled by Joan Humble MP, attracted cross-bench support, demonstrating the commitment within Parliament to ensuring that some of Britain's most vulnerable children have access to a professional who will represent them when decisions are being made about their lives.
Joan Humble MP said: "I thank the 100 MPs who have signed the EDM in support of advocacy for looked after children, and urge all MPs to sign up. I have seen for myself the enormous difference that advocates can make to the lives of looked after children, and particularly those with disabilities."
The Children's Society and Voice are leading a campaign on behalf of The Children's Advocacy Consortium for The Children and Young Persons Bill to give looked after children the right to access independent advocacy when important decisions are being made about their lives.
John Kemmis, Chief Executive of Voice, said: "Empowering looked after children to have a real say in decisions about their lives through representation by a independent professional advocate can bring about better outcomes and potentially longer term savings for society as a whole. This Bill is the last opportunity for Parliament to consider this crucial matter for quite some time".
Research from The Children's Society indicates that disabled children and young people are denied access to vital advocacy services. A quarter of advocacy providers surveyed reported that they had not been able to respond to a referral from a disabled child between April and December 2006.