A career dedicated to making life better for children in care

'Dedicated': Robin Douglas.
'Dedicated': Robin Douglas.

A man who has dedicated his career to improving the lives of children in care has been recognised with an OBE.

Robin Douglas, of Gaddesden Row, has been chairman of national charity The Who Cares? Trust for 15 years and he has worked for 35 years to ensure the voices of young people are heard.

In 1980, he joined the National Institute for Social Work to focus on improving residential care for children. He helped develop a complaints procedure in Westminster for children in care - only offered by one other London borough at the time.

From this work grew the Who Cares? magazine, which in 1985, was the first of its kind to be published. The Who Cares? Trust developed from the magazine, still published today.

Mr Douglas: “It is a great honour for the personal work of many years to be acknowledged, but much more importantly, it is the energy and commitment of many professionals, adults and children across the care system, who make the difference.

“These are the people who should really be recognised; and in particular the team at The Who Cares? Trust, and the young people in the care system, without whom progress would be much more limited.

“We call it ‘the care system’, but for many children in care or leaving care, we still have much to do to make this a reality.”

Chief executive of The Who Cares? Trust Natasha Finlayson said:“We want to congratulate Robin on this thoroughly well-deserved honour.

“Chair of The Who Cares? Trust for 15 years, Robin is passionate about the need to respect the rights and listen to the voices of excluded young people and has infused the organisation with this perspective.

“We are delighted that his contribution to improving the lives of some of our most vulnerable children and young people, and the public services which support them, has been recognised in this way.”