Young people in care

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2014 National LGBT Conference
26 September 2014
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the research commissioned by the Rowntree Foundation (Black Youth on the Margins, Ravinder Barn, 2001). The report noted that about 50,000 children and young people were looked after by local authorities in England in 2000. There was no ethnic monitoring of the young people at this point.

However in a study of 6 local authorities, Black children were overrepresented in referrals resulting from physical abuse compared to white children (58% vs 42%) and underrepresented in referrals resulting from sexual abuse (20% vs 31%).

Other research shows that young Black people are overrepresented in the care system. Once these young people are in the care system, they are less likely to be found suitable family placements. There is a shortage of Black and Asian foster carers and these carers have been given inadequate support in the past. Black children are more likely to be placed with white families. When they are placed with families with a similiar background, the children tend to be older and have spent longer in the care system.

There has been very little UK research on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the care system and almost no information on how this affects Black LGBT young people. However, we know from anecdotal evidence that Black LGBT young people face particular issues.

The Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports LGBT 16-25 year olds made homeless or living in a hostile environment, has identified a particular need for Black LGBT carers.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to:

1) Liaise with the higher education service group executive and national Black members committee to consider options for conducting some UK specific research on the experiences of young Black LGBT people in care;

2. Encourage regions and branches to work to provide role models for young Black LGBT people in care across all our service groups;

3. Work with regions and branches to encourage LGBT members to consider becoming foster carers, adoptive parents or join befriending services, signposting appropriate Black and other organisations;

4. Consider having a fringe meeting or speaker at 2015 LGBT conference to discuss outreach schemes and support for Black and LGBT foster parents/carers.