Mentors for children

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More children in care in Yorkshire should be offered mentors.

Every child in care in England has the right to an adult mentor who visits, befriends and advises them.

In reality though the support simply isn’t available to the vast majority of children in foster care.

The positive impact that a mentor can have on any young person’s life is immeasurable – and yet Barnardo’s research shows just six in 100 children in care in Yorkshire getting the independent support they may be entitled to by law.

Nearly 200 children across Yorkshire are currently on a waiting list to be matched with an independent visitor.

In councils where there is no waiting list, mentoring services may be little known or may not exist at all.

To make sure children get the support they are legally entitled to, Barnardo’s and the National Independent Visitor Project are asking government, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to sign up to our new set of quality standards.

The Government says it wants to provide more support for care leavers as they move into adult life - ensuring mentors are available for young people who are at risk of dropping out of education, training or employment will go a long way towards achieving this.

Steve Oversby

Director, Barnardo’s East Region