Friday, April 21, 2006

Stamp out binbagging

The Guardian has had a good series of articles about looked-after children over the past 3 weeks - the latest has an interview with DfES minister Maria Eagle, described as the ‘"corporate parent" for children taken into the government's care.’

It’s depressing that DfES focus seems to be on educational achievement, rather than on what care-leavers are actually saying they need. Quite honestly, it’s a funny kind of parent who judges how well they’ve done by their child’s GCSE results!

Something you can do to improve things for looked-after children: take a look at the ‘This is not a suitcase’ campaign. They are trying to get rid of a disgusting practice known as ‘binbagging’. Basically, in too many local authorities, when a looked-after child moves placements their belongings are simply dumped into a binbag. You can imagine how humiliating this is, and what sort of message it gives the child. The campaign aims to make local authorities provide children with suitcases.

On the campaign site there’s a list of authorities that have already signed a pledge to provide proper luggage. If your LA isn’t on it, contact the director of children's services and ask why not.

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