We know that kids in care are particularly vulnerable to all sorts of risks, including drug and alcohol misuse. Recently Simon has started talking to the Who Care’s Trust about involving some of the young people they’re working with in the London Youth Involvement Project, and of course the kinship care work we do gives us enormous insight into the difficulties these young people can have growing up.
This has become topical today because of a report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in England which is looking at Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups, with a special focus on children in care. That report finds that use of drugs and alcohol occurs as part of the abuse in some, but not all instances.
However, a young woman who spoke to Newsnight last night gives a pretty dark picture of how alcohol and drugs can play a part in the lives of children in care:
When you’re younger and you’re in care, you go out and if people offer you alcohol and stuff you just go along with it really. You’re probably just gullible.
One time she took me to this guy’s house and we ended up drinking alcohol and she had some cannabis and we ended up doing that.
She was probably the only person that would stop out all night with me, so that’s why I went out with her probably.