Sefton Council makes ‘Care Experienced’ a protected characteristic

At a full Council meeting last night, Sefton Council voted to make ‘care experienced’ a protected characteristic, putting it on equal footing with race and gender when it comes to fighting discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for all. It follows England’s Independent Review of Children’s Social Care which recommended care experience be a protected characteristic following lobbying by people with experience of the system. The move is the latest in a line of changes aimed at strengthening the voice and needs of cared for and care experienced children and young people in Sefton and

In recognising ‘care experienced’ as a protected characteristic, the Council will actively seek out and listen to the voices of care experienced people in the same way they would ensure voices across the spectrum of age, gender, race and disability are heard. It will ensure that all decisions the Council make, the policies they set and the services they commission always consider the specific needs of care experienced young people and the impact on them.

Speaking at the Council meeting last night, Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education said:

“Care experienced people face some of the greatest inequalities in life and the biggest hurdles. There are invisible barriers that hold care experienced children back. Instead of the love and care they need and deserve, they can face discrimination, stigma and prejudice.

“We as councillors our officers and partners are all corporate parents of care experienced people and we need to give them a voice and consider their needs in everything we do. We call upon other bodies to adopt corporate parenting principals such as signing up to our Caring Business Charter and join us in ensuring that our Care Experienced people are supported and have the tools to build a happy, healthy future

“Good parents continue to support, champion, care for, and be ambitious for their children throughout their life and the council and our partners have a responsibility to ensure that children in its care have the same opportunities and outcomes as children in more traditional families.”


The move to make ‘care experienced’ a protected characteristic was inspired by the work of Terry Galloway, a campaigner who has care experience and was in over 100 different placements as a child.

Speaking after the motion was agreed last night, Terry Galloway said:

“I am delighted to see Sefton Council make ‘care experienced’ a protected characteristic. It is encouraging to see local authorities willing to listen to care experienced people, learn from our experiences and commit to improving their services.

“When I left care, my life was chaotic and I was not well supported; it did not feel like anyone had a responsibility to care for me. I campaign for the rights of those leaving care to ensure that no one in my position feels like they are on their own when they reach adulthood.

“Recognising ‘care experienced’ as a protected characteristic will give a voice to those most in need and represents a lifelong commitment to cared for young people who are approaching adulthood; it signals that they will be supported, listened to and valued.

“The next step is to engage with care experienced people of all ages to find out what discrimination they have face, both direct and indirect. It has to be deep and not just through the lens of what services local authorities provide, but go right out into the community in places like prisons, education, DWP and Health because discrimination is everywhere.  When we hear that voice and understand it, then change will happen.”

More from Liverpool News

  • Man and woman jailed following firearms and ammunition supply operation

    Merseyside Police are welcoming the sentencing of a man to six years and nine months years in prison following an operation into the supply of firearms and ammunition. Vincent Horsfall, 30, of Hyde Road, Waterloo pleaded guilty to supplying a firearm and possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. His girlfriend Fiona Crooks, 29, of Wheatfield Close, Netherley, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was sentenced to two years in prison. Both were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court today, Friday 27 January.

  • Kirkby Timetable Changes on Merseyrail

    Following the successful introduction of the first of the new Class 777 trains this week, further timetable changes are being made to the Kirkby line to help accelerate the implementation of the ground-breaking new fleet of trains onto this part of the Merseyrail network. Starting from Monday 30 January, the new trains will be in service on the Kirkby line from 06:13 and will continue until 19:35 The Kirkby line service will be served by a mixture of old and new fleet until driver training has been completed on this part of the network. The Class 777s will be in service from Monday to Sat

  • New date for the LCR Pride Awards

    The LCR Pride Awards 2023 will now take place on Thursday 6th April 2023, with the nomination deadline extended until Tuesday 28th February 2023.   The awards, which are jointly sponsored by Liverpool Football Club (LFC) and Merseyrail, were due to take place on Thursday 23rd February 2023.    However, the decision to move the event was taken to align with wider city plans and the run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest coming to the city. 

  • Four NHS Trusts awarded the freedom of the Borough of Sefton

    Last night (Thursday 26 January), Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust, as well as Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, were awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough by Sefton Council. In a special ceremony held at Bootle Town Hall, Council Leader Ian Maher presented the award in recognition of the dedication, sacrifice and heroism show by local healthcare workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 70 of the Trusts officers and their invited guests attended last night’s ceremony and ci

  • Put your questions to Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable

    Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is inviting people to submit their questions for the Chief Constable and her senior team as she prepares for her next public Scrutiny Meeting. Emily Spurrell is responsible for holding the Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, to account for delivering on her policing and community safety priorities and maintaining an efficient and effective police service in Merseyside. One of the key ways the Police Commissioner undertakes this crucial role is through quarterly public Scrutiny Meetings, which include questions submitted by the public which she then puts to t