Children in Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support her Department offers to teenage mothers in residential care.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The rate of teenage pregnancies has fallen by 30% since 2010 – and is now at the lowest rate it has been for 40 years. The number of teenage mothers in care has also fallen by 23% over the same period.

The Department for Education is taking steps to ensure this progress continues and will shortly be introducing new quality standards for children’s homes which will set demanding expectations of the care and protection they provide to children and young people, including teenage mothers.

The Quality Standards will be accompanied by a guide, which will help staff understand what is expected of them, including helping children to develop strategies to form healthy relationships and know when a relationship is unhelpful or abusive.

Since 2010 the Government had introduced a range of measures to help strengthen support for all looked after children, including teenagers making the transition to adult life. We have, for example, made clear that we expect local authorities to sign up to the Care Leavers Charter and provide a minimum of £2000 Care Leavers allowance to help young people leaving care set up their first home.

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