Bin the black bags call by Rotherham’s looked after children

By Gareth Dennison | 23/02/2018

Bin the black bags call by Rotherham’s looked after children
Clockwise from top left: Looked after children’s council members Chelsea (11), Kiran (19), Kaylan (12) and Bobby-Joe (8)

YOUNGSTERS called for bin bags to be dumped from carrying their possessions between foster homes — saying: “Don’t treat us like rubbish.”

About 30 members of Rotherham’s looked after children’s council (LACC) asked RMBC to ban the black plastic bags during moves between placements.

Eleven-year-old Chelsea said: “When I came into care they told me to put my clothes and my photos in a black plastic bag. I really thought they were going to throw them away.”

Rotherham Borough Council has adopted a new policy prohibiting the use of bin liners for moving personal belongings.

Deputy leader Cllr Gordon Watson, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Well done to the children and young people for making us aware of this. 

“I hope we can repay their courage by taking their lead and raising awareness of this sort of practice not just here but across the country. 

“It needs to be stopped for the sake of these young children, whose experiences are traumatic and stressful enough without being thoughtlessly added to.”

Ian Thomas, the council’s children’s director, added: “We will provide a new suitcase to every child who needs one when they come into care or when they move to a new placement. 
“We respect their precious things and we care about our looked after children.”

LACC member Kaylan (12) added: “We told them that when our precious things are treated without respect that makes us feel like rubbish. 

“They told us straight away it would be stopped. We now want to help other looked after children across the country to get bin liners banned.”

LACC members joined with Rotherham College students to mark their victory with a fashion show last Friday (16) — with all the outfits made from bin liners.

They have sent their views to the Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England. Meanwhile Madlug — Making a Difference Luggage — has given 150 bags and suitcases.

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