Cared-for children want hard knocks

14th December 2007 at 00:00
Knocking before entering a teenager's bedroom is one of the rules children in care would most like to see introduced.

More than 400 children and young people were consulted by Ofsted about the standards that currently cover children's social care.

One of the main requests from the young people was that there should be "respect" between children and the adults who worked with them.

As examples, they said that staff and carers should not be allowed to swear at, shout at or belittle young people, and that children in care should not be prevented from seeing their family as a punishment for bad behaviour.

Two-thirds of the children who took part in the consultation were in children's homes, 12 per cent were in foster homes and the rest were in various forms of social care.

They wanted private bedrooms and buildings that were in good locations and kept in good repair. They also asked for placements to be arranged so that brothers and sisters could stay together.

Rules that the young people said they found useful included those that kept them safe and those that made them clean their rooms.

Specific examples they gave of positive rules included "give each other space", "don't steal food from the fridge" and "always listen to staff".

But they were critical of rules that made them go to bed, get up earlier than they wanted or made them feel "watched all the time".

Consultation is due to begin next year on new national minimum standards for children's social care, which will set out what support they should receive.

The document "Children's messages on care" can be downloaded from Ofsted's website.

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