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National programme of support for young care experienced adults launches

The Care Leavers Programme launches today with a primary focus of improving the life chances of care leavers through decentralised funding of £3.6m into regions across England.

18/04/24

National programme of support for young care experienced adults launches

Care leavers will be able to access £3.6m of funding as part of a new programme of support.

Official statistics showed there were 46,000 care leavers between 17 and 21 years old in England alone in 2022 and these will now be able to access extra support as part of a new programme.

Each year, young people leaving the care system immediately meet a range of challenges that their peers might not experience.

Deficiencies in transitional and practical support mean that care leavers are often less likely to get the help they need to make a fresh start as a young adult. Gaps in support have been found when it comes to relationships and mentoring, education, employment and mental health.

“Inequalities for care leavers differ from region to region,” Rosemary MacDonald BEM, Chief Executive at UK Community Foundations said, adding: “It is key that we harness the knowledge of local organisations to not just fund fantastic projects for young people leaving the care system, but to nurture those relationships and keep the momentum going to make real change happen.”

“We hope to use this programme as a way of uniting communities and authorities, to explore local solutions to local issues and use the learning to influence wider support for care leavers.”

Managed by UK Community Foundations, the Care Leavers Programme, a £3.6 million match fund scheme. It will run over three years and is being funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA.

Seventeen community foundations will work closely with their respective local authorities to fund a range of individual care leavers and charitable organisations that help care leavers navigate their way through adulthood.

The fund will provide practical and holistic support to care leavers in the first instance. It will also enable community foundations to identify funding gaps in each region and collaborate with local organisations and authorities to capitalise on their skills and knowledge, and to facilitate a long-lasting, coherent plan of impact for care leavers that can be built on over time.

Types of support include giving guidance for care leavers experiencing homelessness in the West Midlands, providing positive practical experiences for young care leavers in Cambridgeshire, offering one-to-one personal and professional work-based mentoring in Cumbria, helping parent care leavers and migrant care leavers in Essex, direct financial support for individual care leavers to help with education, training or employment in Surrey, and more.

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of LAMIT, said the care system is “creaking at the seams,” despite the best endeavours of dedicated professionals such as social workers and probation officers.

“We need to find innovative approaches for all young people who have left care, in which society can wrap its arm around them in the same way that we as parents and grandparents wrap our arms around the young people in our own family.”

Find out more about the programme: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/

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