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2015 National Black Members' Conference
17 September 2014

Conference notes the research commissioned by the Rowntree Foundation (Black Youth on the Margins, Ravinder Barn) published in 2001.

This report noted that about 50,000 children and young people were looked after by local authorities in England in 2000. However there was no ethnic monitoring of those young people at this point.

However in a study of 6 local authorities, the number of Black children were over represented in referrals for physical abuse compared to white children (58% vs 42%) and under represented in referrals for sexual abuse (20% vs 31%).

Previous research shows that young Black people are over represented 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 but when they are placed with families with a similar 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 how this affects Black LGBT young people. However, we know from anecdotal evidence that Black LGBT young people face particular issues.

There have also been few schemes to support and encourage LGBT people and families to become foster carers and adoptive parents targeting Black LGBT families.

Conference calls on the National Black Members’ Committee to:

1)Liaise with the higher education service group executive and national LGBT 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 Black members to consider becoming foster carers, adoptive parents or join befriending services;

4)Consider having a fringe meeting or speaker at 2016 Black Members’ Conference to discuss outreach schemes and support for Black and LGBT foster parents/carers.