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Developing and Maintaining Relationships for Care-Experienced People report published

Date:26 NOV 2021
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The Developing and Maintaining Relationships for Care-Experienced People Roundtable brought together diverse voices from academic, lived-experienced, professional and policy making communities in the social care sector. The aim of the event was to stimulate discussion and to work towards identifying solutions on how to improve the relational experiences of children in care and those who have spent time in the care system through changing policy and practice.

 

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The report summarises the findings. It considers key areas where the sector could improve and innovate in supporting care-experienced people to experience positive relationships.

The report says: "Our early relationships influence many aspects of our later life, and we all have a right and a need to connect with significant others, including parents, family and community, and to experience their sensitivity, actions and commitment. The social care system has a prime responsibility to ensure the relational needs of children and young people in care and care leavers of all ages are met to promote their safety and development, and to provide opportunities to maximise their capacity to fully engage in the world around them.

There are numerous areas where the children’s social care system needs development but also areas where it can provide important solutions in meeting the relational needs of children currently in care and care-experienced people. These include opportunities to learn about, explore, discuss, and address the impact of care-experienced people’s personal histories on their well-being, welfare, and sense of identity. Experience of ‘family for life’ or meaningful connection whether with birth parents or wider birth family, or other forms of placement that provide a stable, loving family, with emotional, personal and social security a priority. This experience of family and relationships should extend beyond childhood and adolescence as it does for most children cared for by their parents.

This roundtable report advises future consideration is given to a number of related areas: investing in innovative ways to support professionals to promote loving relational environments in their work with children in care and care-experienced people, considering relationship building as essential for meaningful participation, building towards relationships that last beyond formal care and recognising diverse pathways to relationship stability."

You can read the report here.

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