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Mark Riddell left local authority care in 1984 and spent years working with a range of organisations to campaign for better support for care leavers before training as a social worker in 1990. He was the Service Manager for children in care and leaving care at Trafford council until 2017. In 2015 Ofsted rated the Trafford’s quality of care leaver provision at the council as ‘outstanding’. Trafford was the first in the country to achieve this.
In 2017 he received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for his outstanding contribution to children in care and care leavers.
He was appointed as the National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers within the DfE. Previous to this he worked informally alongside the Children’s Minister Edward Timpson on the Care Leavers Strategy – Keep on Caring and the C&SW Act that introduced a new set of Corporate Parenting Duties, the consultation and publication of the local offer to care leavers and the PA duty to 25yrs for all care leavers.
Mark also penned a book called The Cornflake Kid which about his time in the care system and subsequent travels around the world – including a chance casting in one of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo movies.