Protected Characteristics

Campaigning to make Care Experience a Protected Characteristic...

MCYPC have been invited by Medway Council to find out from children and young people in care, care leavers and care experienced adults and professionals what they think about a national campaign to make Care Experience a Protected Characteristic.

So, what does that mean?

Well, we’ll explain below, and you’ll find a link at the bottom of this article to have your say.

What is a Protected Characteristic?

These are traits that are protected by law (The Equalities Act 2010) and mean that those with them are entitled to be treated fairly by organisations that educate, employ or support them.

Currently there are 9 protected characteristics these are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

The benefits to care experience being made are protected characteristic are:

1. Legal Protection: Making “care leaver” a protected status means that if someone has been in care, they’re legally protected from being treated unfairly. For example, if they’re refused a job or a place to live because they were in care, they can take action against it.

2. Fairness: It’s about making things fair for people who’ve grown up in care. Life can be tough for them, so this protection helps them get the same chances as everyone else.

3. Getting Help: Being a protected status means they can get extra help when they need it, like support with school or finding a job. It’s like having someone there to back them up.

4. Less Judgement: People sometimes look down on those who grew up in care. But by making care leaver status protected, it’s saying that they deserve the same respect and chances as anyone else.

5. Doing Better: With this protection and support, it’s hoped that people who grew up in care will have a better shot at doing well in life. That means doing better in school, finding good jobs, and feeling happier and healthier.

6. Making Things Better: By recognising care leaver status as important, it encourages the government and others to do more to help those who’ve grown up in care. This could mean changing rules, giving more money for support, and making sure that everyone works together to help them succeed.

We would love to hear your views, complete our short form now and have your voice heard:

To read more, download Medway’s presentation here: Care Experience as a Protected Characteristic 

Complete the form by clicking below!