Government announces new support for care leavers
The government has announced a new package of support for young people leaving care.
The strategy involves four separate government departments and is designed to improve life chances for one of the most disadvantaged groups in society.
Under the strategy, the Department for Work and Pensions will work to improve employment support for care leavers, while the Department for Education is to continue funding for the ‘Care to Work’ programme, which provides apprenticeship and work experience opportunities for young people.
The Department of Health, meanwhile, is to make changes to its guidance fort health organisations on meeting the needs of children in care, formally termed ‘looked after children’.
Other elements include improved training for care home staff to help them better support leavers, as well as consultation on social housing guidance by the Department for Communities and Local Government
Financial support is also included the scheme, with authorities encouraged to pay care leavers £2,000 to help them establish themselves as independent members of society, while budgeting support will also be available to them.
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson told the National Care Leaver Week annual conference earlier this week:
“Although most children leave care having had positive experiences, it’s simply not acceptable that they end up with significantly worse exam results; are more likely to have poorer mental and physical health; or be unemployed or out of education altogether. That makes quality of support – and consistency of support – absolutely essential. They deserve nothing less. If care leavers get patchy services, they are more likely to slip through the cracks.”
“We want care leavers to enter adult life with the same opportunities and life chances as their friends. If someone needs a helping hand to get into work, to find a college place or to access the right employment services, it shouldn’t matter which part of government provides it. For the first time ever, our care leaver strategy will ensure that all government action across every department – from justice to housing, education to finance – is working with one single, united purpose to improve the lives of these vulnerable young people.”
Photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
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