Ben and team start petition to extend care

Author Ben Ashcroft in Sowerby Bridge.
Author Ben Ashcroft in Sowerby Bridge.
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A former care home kid has received huge support in an online petition campaigning for equality of support to be raised to 21 - for all looked after children.

Ben Ashcroft and the team of Every Child Leaving Care Matters have started a national campaign in response to Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove’s decision to extend care for foster children from 18 until the age of 21 - but not to extend the duty of care to children of care homes.

In three weeks the Every Child Leaving Care Matters team have gained over 4,000 signatures supporting the bid to raise the care age for all children in care.

Professors, professional bodies, celebrities and others have signed the petition which is growing momentum and support, daily.

Barnardos, TACT Fostering, sportsman Kriss Akabusi, BBC presenter Shelley Jofre and Debbie Douglas from The Only Way is Essex, have all signed the online petition.

Ben, of Sowerby Bridge, said: “Care should be equal - if people discriminated against gender or race this wouldn’t be accepted - so why are children in care homes being discriminated against?

“Changes to legislation for kids in care can be complicated but it could be argued that youngsters in homes are more vulnerable and therefore need more extended care. 40 per cent of 18-21 year-old’s in prison are from a care background - if we care for these people for longer, they’d cost the country less in the long run,” said Ben.

The campaigning team has written to Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, and hope to receive a reply with a view to meet with the politician.