What young people think…and why it’s important to us

Date: 26th May 2015
Category: Adoption, Family Environment and Alternative Care

The Throughcare and Aftercare Trust has published the results of a recent survey of young people in care which highlights how positively young people in TACT placements feel about the care they receive.

Together's State of Children's Rights report 2014 states the Concluding Observation to 'Strengthen efforts to ensure that children are adopted as speedily as possible, in line with their best interests and taking into account factors such as cultural background'. In response, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child sent a recommendation that, 'The Scottish Government should ensure that continued support is available to children placed in a permanent or adoptive placement, in consistent negotiation with the child and adults involved'.

TACT interviewed 84 young people in care face-to-face. The children they spoke to ranged from 9-18 in age. Experienced social workers or children's resource workers spoke to the children and young people they knew. The children and young people got to choose where the interview took place and TACT were able to build a picture of what life feels like for young people in foster care.

The report shares what children and young people said about belonging, about being heard, about boundaries, the challenges of adolescence and about their experience of care as a whole.

Being in care is right for them - 88% of young people interviewed now feel that being in care is the right thing for them compared to 62% who thought coming into care was the right thing for them at the time.

Belonging - 95% of young people feel part of their carer's family. 97% of young people believe they are treated the same as the carer's own family.

Young people are listening to but they would like their opinion to make more of a difference - 94% of young people feel able to express their opinions about things that matter to them. 58% of young people feel their opinions always or usually make a difference to the decisions about their life. Only 6% of the people we spoke to said their opinion never makes a difference.

Boundaries and respect - 2/3 of young people are always given a reason if they are not allowed to go out, and 80% always or usually agree with it.

The people who look after them - 87% of young people rate their TACT carer as good or very good. 96% of the young people we spoke to told us their carer makes them feel good about themselves. 89% of the young people we spoke to spend leisure time with their foster carers and enjoy being with them.

How hard their carers work for them - 95% of young people think carers should have their own free time.