Wokingham Borough Council agrees to treat experience of care as a protected characteristic.

19 Jan 2024
A toddler standing in a cot

Care-experienced people can face significant barriers throughout their lives and therefore Wokingham Borough Council agrees to treat experience of care as a protected characteristic.

Lib Dem Councillor Andrew Mickelburgh proposed a motion which was adopted at the meeting of Wokingham Borough Council on 18 January, recognising that “care-experienced people” often face discrimination in many areas including housing, health, education, employment and the criminal justice system. The council therefore agreed that care-experienced people are a disadvantaged group whose needs should be treated similarly to those from other groups with recognised protected characteristics.

The council agreed to consider the needs of care-experienced people in decision making, services and policies, using the same assessment to determine the impact on them as it does for other people with protected characteristics. It also resolved to continue to proactively seek the input of care-experienced people in the development of any policies or services which may affect them.

Lib Dem Councillor Andrew Mickelburgh, said:
“Despite their resilience and wonderful achievements, many care-experienced people face significant barriers that impact them throughout their lives. We have an opportunity to help address this in practical and meaningful ways. Passing this motion means that we can make a positive difference in the lives of these residents.”

Lib Dem Councillor Jane Ainslie, said:

“The stigma and discrimination that these young people can face is sometimes explicit, and often comes with assumptions about the likely characteristics of children and adults that have care experience. As Councillors, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help. Even small actions can lead to positive benefits for people’s lives which can sometimes have enormous impact.”

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