All-Party Parliamentary Group launches inquiry into children in care and financial education

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People is today launching an inquiry into the current state of financial education available to children in care.

 

Launching the inquiry, Julian Knight, MP for Solihull and Chair of the APPG said:

 

“Understanding how to manage money is a key skill that is essential for all aspects of adult life. Financial education equips young people with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to lead independent lives, plan for the future and protect themselves from financial crime.

 

Access to good financial education is even more important for children in care who face tougher challenges when they leave the care system and become independent adults.

 

Our inquiry will look at the current challenges that looked after children face in accessing financial education and what we can do better to empower these young people to lead independent lives and successful careers once they leave care.”

 

In a previous report, the APPG established the importance of improving the scope and quality of financial education in schools1. The APPG’s new inquiry looks specifically into the financial education of children in care and the specific issues they face in accessing financial education.

 

Children in care often face tougher challenges than their peers. Research suggests: 

 

 

  • People who have their family to help them prepare for adult life are less likely to fall into debt or financial difficulty than those without this support network

 

  • Care leavers often reach financial independence at a younger age and with less support than their peers, and there are some indications they are at greater risk of lower financial capability - looked after children aged 7–17 are less likely than their peers to be able to explain choices made when spending money, and at age 16–17, they are more likely to score worse on measures of money management like managing a day-to-day budget or allowance, and understanding choices have to be made when spending

 

The inquiry will consider what measures are currently being undertaken to support children in care with their financial education and what can be done to better support this group of vulnerable young people in forming positive financial habits. This issue is particularly relevant as the first cohort of children in care will soon be able to access their Child Trust Fund savings, which was provided by Government between 2002 and 2011. The APPG is grateful to the Money Advice Service for supporting the inquiry.

 

The APPG is keen to hear from local authorities, care providers, charities, academics, care leavers, fosters carers, schools and other organisations and individuals involved in this space. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 31st January 2019 and the APPG plans to hold a number of oral evidence sessions in the first quarter of 2019, before publishing an inquiry report. Evidence can be submitted by sending a word document to the APPG Secretariat at appg@y-e.org.uk

 

Full remit of the inquiry