The National Assn of Young People In Care was invited to give evidence to the Select Committee on Children In Care (1983) along with a range of organisations. Chaired by Rene Short this would lead eventually to the 1989 Children’s Act. This Report, written by me, is NAYPIC’s written evidence, which I called ‘Sharing Care’.
I collated the views and experiences of young people across the UK from surveys, Conferences and letters we received. It is the first time that race is mentioned as am issue. And abuse within homes was given serious attention. I carried ‘SharingCare’ into the House of Commons and presented it to the MP’s. “Did you really write this?” they asked me. As if they couldn’t concieve of it.
Described as “highly influential” by the Parliamentary Committee the 40-page report, with its concluding children’s charter was said to be ‘methodical, comprehensive and representative of an increasing number of children in care’ who are “becoming vocal in expressing their views”.
House of Commons Committee on Children in Care stated, ‘children’s rights are now being recognised as never before.’ It was the setting up of NAYPIC and the Report ‘Sharing Care’ that marked the beginnings of the right’s movement for young people in care.
If you are care experienced it’s important for you to know that the policies that Charity Organisations and Social Work Academics and professionals are all focused on today came initially and directly from us. We are the ones that really know what is really going on within and after care. This should be acknowledged by them when they seek your engagement.
Sharing Care’ and the policies (developed by listening to young people in care themselves) shaped the 1989 Children’s Act. It covers the whole gamut of care experienced views at the time and turned them into policies; from assessment, through files, reviews, fostering, punishements to leaving care. It’s the first time we see race, gender issues as well as our concerns over child sex abuse evidenced.