01 Feb 2024

Leeds City Council set to make care experience a protected characteristic

Health Carers

Members of Leeds City Council’s executive board are set to agree to establishing care experience as a locally protected characteristic by the council.

The move follows a deputation to full council from care leavers, recognising that people’s experience of being in the care system can lead to similar barriers than those faced by other groups with protected characteristics.

A young person who is 'care experienced' means that they have had experience of the care system, either on a temporary or long-term basis, and includes children currently in our care, as well as 'care leavers' – people who have been in care previously.

Through this formal recognition, Leeds City Council is joining 57 other councils in ensuring the needs of care experienced young people are at the heart of all council decision-making, alongside other groups who formally share a protected characteristic.

Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council executive member for children's social care and health partnerships, said:

“The council takes its responsibility to the children and young people in our care, as corporate parents extremely seriously, as all parents should.

“The recognition of care experience as a protected characteristic will further cement our commitment to care leavers, after young people brought a passionate and persuasive deputation to our January full council meeting. But it goes further than that, with this decision, we want to make sure that no-one with care experience is discriminated against, and that all children in Leeds have  every opportunity to live fulfilling and successful lives without barriers.”

To see the related executive board report visit Council and democracy (leeds.gov.uk) (agenda item 10).



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