We did it! 

a cardboard box with the words 'handle with care' written on it

Our services in Greater Manchester support hundreds of young people in care or who have run away from care – from speaking to them we knew that too often these young people don’t get the support they need.

That's why we started campaigning to ensure that when a young person in care is placed out of their local area, they get the support they need to settle and thrive.

A year after launching our 'Handle With Care' campaign in Greater Manchester, our recommendations were formally agreed to by Councillor Cliff Morris on behalf of the Greater Manchester Authority on Thursday 30 June.

These commitments will help improve the experiences of children in care when they are placed away from their home area, and will be an fantastic example for other areas in the country to follow.

Find out more about this campaign. 

How many children are in care?

There are 5,122 children in care in Greater Manchester. These children are very vulnerable, and many will have experienced family breakdown.

Being placed far from home can makes things worse, yet more than 1,900 of these children are placed far away from their area, and 425 of them are placed over 20 miles from home. This can be daunting and disruptive for many young people. They may have to change schools, have less contact with their social worker or doctor, struggle to see family and friends and miss out on social activities.

Working with young people affected by this issue, we have developed some key steps that we want all local councils in the region to take to improve support and ensure their moves are handled with care.  

a mobile phone

Give them the resources and support they need to keep in touch with their friends and family, such as visits and access to computers and phones

a suitcase Provide them with a much notice as possible before a move
a packing box Make sure they are supported with their moves – including providing luggage or boxes, help with packing and appropriate transport
a megaphone Ensure all the relevant support services, including other local councils, know a move is happening
an ear Enable them to have their voices heard through Children in Care Councils
a smiley face Ensure they get the same level of face-to-face time with crucial support workers
a certificate Involve them in the  training of professionals, so their voice is heard
a book Plan moves around their education, particularly thinking about exams and coursework