Keep Care Leavers Connected 

Local Authority Care Leavers Support 

The transition from childhood to a successful and fulfilling life as an adult can be a challenge for most people but for those young people in, and leaving care, they face additional challenges to do this well. Whilst this is not widely understood by the general population it is recognised within the sector and services to support care leavers are set out in primary legislation and statutory guidance detailing proactive support until 20 and support on request until 25 (respective of whether in Education or not). For local authorities to meet their ‘corporate parenting’ responsibilities they must be both approachable and accessible in ways that are meaningful to care leavers. They must have a way of providing information, support and advice that is current, engaging and recognises the needs of individuals who will require support in different forms at different stages of their lives.   

The outcomes for care leavers compare poorly with those in the general population with lack of community and isolation being a contributory factors to their vulnerability. The recent lockdown restrictions have been disabling for many in society but have impacted greatly on the care leaver population. Services have worked tirelessly to support their care leaver communities and with mandated restrictions on ways of working the responses to the pandemic have helped to connect with users in new and different ways. Whilst these will not replace more traditional direct interventions there is a growing appreciation that virtual connections add real value and offer a way of connecting with care leavers that can be attractive to young people and connecting with those who ordinarily would not have engaged in services.

Background

As lockdown was imposed in March 2020 the Department For Education asked the National House Project about ways in which we engaged our community of care leavers and as a result we were asked in August 2020 if we could develop an online support platform for care leavers in every Local Authority across the country. As young people in our Care Leavers National Movement (CLNM) were driving a digital poverty campaign it was only natural that they would become a reference group for this work and moreover we were keen for this approach to be led by care leavers for care leavers.

The CLSP has been designed to provide a platform for every Local Authority which has the same look and feel as a website. The CLSP will share the same look for all LAs, however, you can personalise and customise with logos and resources. Care leavers are added by a staff member and via a secure log in system and young people can then;

  • Access information and communicate more easily with services

  • Have a local voice  

  • Access support when they need it  

  • Be connected to other young people

 

Ready to get started? 

Head over to the Care Leavers Support Portal to enter some basic details. Once your registration is submitted, our Administration team will be notified to review & approve your registration.

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The DfE have funded the CLSP development and the first year of the platform will be free to local authorities. As a charity we are seeking to secure funding beyond the first year so that it will remain free at the point of delivery.

 

For more information please contact The National House Project

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