National review of care allowances: consultation report

This report provides the findings of a consultation exercise carried out as part of a national review of care allowances.

Annex A – Feedback from children and young people

Child allowances

Generally children and young people felt that their carers had enough money to meet their daily needs and that they were not prevented from doing anything that their peers do solely because of money. Some cited that guidance around children and young people being looked after and the fear of carers for getting it wrong can sometimes prevent young people from participating in activities. In terms of what the allowance should be cover, participants felt that this would go towards their clothes, technology (computers/tv/phones), food, holidays and doing stuff that was fun. Children in kinship care noted a difference between themselves and children in foster care, whose carers tend to fund a range of activities that their carers would not, as the money is utilised to meet basic needs, such as clothing and food.

In line with general consultation feedback, education related funding, including school trips was specifically mentioned and some felt that this should be in addition to the funding received for living expenses. Additional payments related to start-up costs and meetings were also referenced. With regard to information for carers, young people felt that there should be lots of clear information for carers to understand what was happening and that the information should be easy to read, either online or via a leaflet

Wider support

Overall the young people felt supported from their carers, social workers and the voluntary sector and some cited that the time spent with their social worker can make a difference to how they feel. Children and young people reported that they would like someone else they could talk to and have fun with – they spoke about some kids having befrienders and stated that they would like this. The young people also value the support, if required, from the relevant rights and advocacy services.

The young people all thought that carers needed to be given more support and encouragement to look at the mental and emotional health of young people, specifically linked to trauma and anxiety. The value of relationships was a common theme among young people – with their social worker, TCAC worker, at school and with other children who may or may not be in care. They noted that additional support is often required at points of transition, for both young people and their carers. When asked what their carers need, young people felt they needed someone to talk to.


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