The impact of disadvantage and discrimination on looked after children’s lives
Early childhood experiences can have lasting impacts on their emotional, physical health, social development, education and future employment. Children in care are more likely to experience difficulties in later life, which can have a wider social impact and lead to higher welfare costs.
Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commission for England has said.
“Despite recent improvements, too many children in care still move placements too often or face a ‘revolving door’ of foster care breakdowns – sometimes because they have not received the therapeutic support they need to recover from abuse or neglect”.
• A child’s primary experiences establish the tone of their relationships for life. Deprived patterns of attachment, low self esteem, and social expectations contribute to a vulnerable child’s vulnerability, placing them at risk of significant harm or offensive behaviour.
• Several children in care may be exposed to discrimination for various reasons; being in care itself, is reason for stigma in the society. In practice, we must endeavour to reduce undermine and eliminate discrimination and oppression.
• The environment in which children grow up will influence the lessons taken from their childhoods. Whilst it’s undoubtedly true that the majority of children, even in the most deprived areas, are well socialized and pro-social, multiple disadvantages, deprivation, abuse and neglect are all risk factors for anti-social adjustment.
Finally, approaching these issues with empathy, can counter social disadvantage (anti-oppressive practices) which needs to be merged into planning for the provision of individual children’s care.