Cuts to councils and a lack of suitable homes mean that nearly half of children in care live in unregulated accommodation, writes Carolyne Willow. Plus letters from Simon Morton and Prof Mike Stein
So the Ministry of Justice is going to raise the minimum legal age of marriage in order to protect vulnerable children (Government pledges to raise legal age of marriage to 18 in England and Wales, 11 June). My small charity, meanwhile, has had to apply for a judicial review of the Department for Education’s decision to introduce secondary legislation which states that children in care in England must always be placed in settings where they receive day-to-day care and consistent adult supervision – but only if they are aged 15 or younger.
One of the arguments the DfE seeks to rely upon is that children can marry or enter a civil partnership with parental consent from the age of 16. Yet the Children Act 1989 provides that local authorities look after children who cannot live with their families up to age 18. This latest government move takes us back decades in effectively introducing a legal leaving care age of 16.