Dear Broadcasters

However difficult it may have been to organise, the forthcoming Leaders’ Debate presents a welcome opportunity for the voting public to hear how the different political parties would act in government over the next five years, if given the power to do so.

Among the millions of children and young people who are affected by government policies every day, one group in particular rely more directly on government than any other – the 68,000 children in care.* For these children and young people, too-often invisible in political debates and without a vote of their own, the state has a special responsibility.

Anyone seeking government office, not least hoping to be Prime Minister, takes on a ‘corporate’ responsibility for all children in care. We believe it is our duty as voters to hold our politicians to democratic account for their role as corporate parents to these children. If we don’t, who will?

This General Election should be the first in which the nation publicly asks its politicians how they will live up to their responsibility to be good parents for our most vulnerable children.

We call for the Leaders’ Debate on 2nd April (and other leadership interviews) to ask one simple question to all parties: ‘What will you do for children in care?’

Yours sincerely,

Kathy Evans (CEO, Children England)
David Holmes CBE (CEO, Family Action)
Matthew Reed (CEO, The Children’s Society)
Javed Khan (CEO, Barnardo’s)
Anna Feuchtwang (CEO, National Children’s Bureau)
Dr Carol Homden (CEO, Coram)
Andrew Radford (Managing Director, Coram Voice)
The Earl of Listowel
Carla Garnelas and Louise King (Co-Directors, Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE)).
David Graham (National Director, The Care Leavers’ Association)
Harvey Gallagher (CEO, Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers)
Iain Cassidy (CEO, Friendship Works)
Natasha Finlayson (CEO, The Who Cares? Trust)
Stephen Blunden (CEO, Childhood First)
Jonathan Stanley (Executive Officer, Independent Children’s Homes Association)
Mark Lee (CEO, Together Trust)
Elaine Clowes (CEO, Children’s Links)
Keith White (CEO, Mill Grove)
Mike Sherriff (CEO, Voluntary Action Islington)
Shane Ryan (CEO, Working With Men)
Ian Dickson (Every Child Leaving Care Matters)
Ed Nixon (Every Child Leaving Care Matters)
Catherine Gladwell (Director, Refugee Support Network)
Susanne Rauprich (CEO, NCVYS)
Jeremy Cripps (CEO, Children North East)
Jonathan Farrow (CEO, St Christopher’s Fellowship)
Sue Pettigrew (Director, St Michael’s Fellowship)
Rachel Kelly (CEO, Reading Matters)
Norman Goodwin (CEO, Adoption Matters North West)
Naomi Goldberg (CEO, Greenwich Action for Voluntary Service)
Linda Jones (Chair of Trustees, Phoenix Bereavement Support)
Sharon Long (CEO, Partnership for Young London)
Justine Eardley-Dunn (CEO, Savana)
Kate Mulley (Director of Policy and Campaigns, Action For Children)

*There are 68,000 children in care in England.

Please sign and share our urgent public petition for children in care.