Helping to Build a Brighter Future – Our Partnership With The Care Leaver Covenant
23.09.2019 by Jim Ker
In July 2016, the Government published a major policy document ‘Keep on Caring’ to support young people from care to independence. A key policy commitment in the paper was a pledge to introduce a Care Leaver Covenant. The Covenant is a promise made by the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25.
The Care Leaver Covenant was launched in October 2018, and in July this year, Kingston Unity made a commitment to work alongside them to help tackle some of the challenges faced by those leaving care.
Undoubtedly, a large proportion of young people leave their care setting poorly prepared for independence. Typically, they lack the appropriate resource to acquire and hold down gainful employment as well as the skills needed to manage their financial affairs and domestic arrangements. They frequently do not have the social and emotional confidence or the family and friend networks that would provide the confidence and resilience to face the challenges of earning a living and making their way in society.
As part of our commitment to working with the Care Leaver Covenant, we will aim to provide additional support for those leaving care; making available a different kind of support and expertise from that statutorily provided by local authorities. Drawing on the resourcefulness and imagination of the team, we hope to offer new perspectives and professional expertise.
This is a long term commitment that we hope will develop over time, but in the short-term we will be hosting an event later this year for care leavers to come and, not only be in an environment with other care leavers, who truly understand and appreciate their circumstances, but also be afforded the opportunity to learn about budgeting & saving, gain CV and job interview techniques and also to talk generally about their future aspirations and what steps they could take to make them a reality.
Whilst there is overwhelming evidence that care leavers can find themselves at the ‘thin end of the wedge’, there are also some real success stories detailing how care leavers overcome adversity and succeed despite their circumstances. Joining the Care Leaver Covenant is our way of contributing to helping care leavers have a greater chance at success.
If you’d like to know more about the Care Leavers Covenant or would be interested in becoming involved, then please contact the team.