31st March 2010
Dawn Howley, writing in the Guardian, levels some sobering facts at her readers. There are more than 60,000 children in care in the UK, a colossal population of vulnerable young people. The pathway from a life in care to a life in prison is nowhere more firmly stated than in her statistic that 27% of the adult male prison population were themselves children in care, this figure rises to 50% when only those prisoners under the age of 25 are considered.
Howley, herself a former child in care, cites her personal experience of a therapeutic residential placement as the factor which turned her life around. Such placements, and such intensive interventions, are not cheap and are often not viewed as a viable option as a result.
Such blinkered thinking and short-term policies are damaging both the children to whom the State owes it greatest duty of care, and ultimately, society.