Voices From Care's Response to The Auditor General’s Report on The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children and Young People.

Voices from Care welcomes the Report that has concentrated on the education of looked after children and young people.

The Report highlights that there is good practice across Wales but that this can be variable and further warns that there is too much variation on attainment, inconsistent support and lack of clearly defined outcomes against which progress can be assessed.

Voices from Care recognises that the Corporate Parenting Role of Local Authorities is key in enhancing outcomes with the Corporate Parenting Roles needing to be identical to that which parents do with their children.

With approximately 5,500 young people in care in Wales and with the current economic conditions it is feared that these numbers could increase, therefore it is imperative that Corporate Parents understand and put into practice their fundamental 'parenting' responsibilities to ensure that looked after children and young people maximise their potential.

Rosie, a young person from care who is a member of Voices from Carewho also sits on Voices from Care's Board of Trustees, comments that "I was very lucky as there was a big drive from my Local Authority – Carmarthenshire, to stay in education. I was given a support structure and had a whole dedicated team to support me post 16. I had a personal advisor who attended college open days with me and helped me to fill out forms. I was lucky as not everyone knows about this or asks for support and if you don't ask, you don't get."

Rosie further advises that "the time when a young person goes into care can be quite unpredictable with many adjustments however that young person's education can form a stable base and be one of the consistent, normal things in their life that helps take their mind off things. Not everyone is academically brilliant but everyone can do well as long as they get the support they need."

Deborah Jones Chief Executive of Voices from Care commented that it is important that we recognise the need for a change in mind set, to work collectively with stakeholders in an effort to raise awareness of the issues and challenges faced by looked after children and young people, so that these children and young people in care may be encouraged to maximise their potential to achieve fully.

The education of looked after children and young people long term acts as a safeguard in improving their confidence, self esteem and life chances/opportunities, and with a robust Corporate Parenting Framework this would remain and continue to be a priority.

To listen to Rosie's interview with BBC Radio Wales in full please click on the Link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19341122