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UTTING SEEKS VIEWS OF CHILDREN LIVING 'AWAY FROM HOME'

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Young people who have lived away from home have today been invited to write in confidence to Sir William Utting as ...
Young people who have lived away from home have today been invited to write in confidence to Sir William Utting as part of his review of safeguards for children under the age of 18 living away from home.

Sir William, who is carrying out the Children's Safeguards Review, said: 'I am particularly interested in the experience of those young people who have lived away from home within the last five years, since the introduction of the 1989 Children Act. I would like to hear from those who felt well protected as well as from those who may have criticisms of existing arrangements.

'It would be a great help if some of those who have lived away from home when under the age of 18, or their parents, were prepared write to me to share their experiences and views on how well the arrangements that exist for protecting them from harm actually worked in practice. Obviously all letters will be treated in the strictest confidence.'

The aim of the review is to identify what is most likely to be both effective and practicable in protecting children living away from home, including children with special needs or disabilities. The general issues surrounding the protection of all young people who live away from home will be considered as will particular factors relating to the different settings, including risks to which some children may be exposed.

Sir William is eager to draw on the knowledge and experience of organisations, professionals and individuals whose work or interests relate to his terms of reference. He would particularly welcome their views on:

-- the existing framework of statutory regulation and guidance and the effectiveness of the ways in which it is monitored and observed;

-- examples of good practice as well as comment about any gaps or deficiencies;

-- experience particularly since the introduction of the Children Act 1989.

Sir William is also writing to representative bodies and associations seeking their observations.

Submissions should be sent to Sir William Utting, Children's Safeguards Review, Room 634, Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG, by 30 November.

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