Supporting children in care and young people who are care experienced is one of the primary obligations Hounslow Council fulfils.
Published: Monday, 25th September 2023
Councillors at the Borough Council meeting on Tuesday evening (19 September) voted unanimously to recognise being care experienced as a locally protected characteristic.
The Council joined a growing number of local authorities across England and in London committed to ensuring support for the needs of care experienced young people that are underpinned by this commitment. The Council will now, through passing this important motion:
- recognise that people with experience of care are a group who are likely to face discrimination;
- recognise that it has a duty to put the needs of disadvantaged people at the heart of decision-making through co-production and collaboration;
- treat ‘care experience’ as an additional equality strand alongside the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act 2010 so that key council policies and changes in policy made and adopted by Hounslow should be assessed through Equality Impact Assessments to determine the impact of changes on people with care experience, alongside and/or intersecting with those who formally share a protected characteristic;
- call upon all other bodies to treat experience of care as a protected characteristic until such time as it may be introduced by legislation.
This also means, in the delivery of the Public Sector Equality Duty, that the Council includes care experience in the publication and review of Equality Objectives and the annual publication of information relating to people who share a protected characteristic in services and employment.
Councillor Lily Bath, Cabinet Member for Education, Children, Skills and Employment (pictured in right), Councillor Lara Parizotto, Councillor Alan Mitchell, Councillor Ron Mushiso met with care-experienced young people at the Borough Council meeting.
Councillor Lily Bath, Cabinet Member for Education, Children, Skills and Employment, said:
“I am very proud of getting the unanimous support from all councillors in Hounslow for taking the first step for protecting care-experienced people from discrimination and stigma. They often face significant barriers across housing, health, education, relationships, employment and in the criminal justice system that could impact them throughout their lives.
“Our young care experienced people will know that the Council supports them and will not falter in its commitment to challenging any discrimination and championing equality for them. In shaping this new commitment, we will seek to engage and listen to our young care experienced people, using their views and feedback to shape future policy.”