Launch Event - what we learned

On 8 December 2016 we hosted a group of 50 people who play a vital role in the lives of children and young people in and leaving care at the formal launch of our young people leaving care funding stream. At the launch:

We asked participants including care leavers, voluntary sector organisations, academics, local authorities and the Department for Education for their thoughts on:

  1. Where good statutory practice to support young people leaving care is happening, what /who is making it work?
  2. When young people in or leaving care are able to form and keep healthy relationships, who/what is critical to this?
  3. What are some practical ways we (local authorities, young people, academics, voluntary sector, funders) could work together to improve outcomes for young people leaving care?

Common strands across all responses were:

  • Encouraging a relational rather than a transactional approach in all services
  • Recognising that the journey for young person doesn’t end at a particular age
  • Considering the issues for care leavers alongside those for all young people
  • The role of personal advisors, the training they receive and how they're supported and valued

A full summary of participants' answers to these questions is attached here.

What next?

At Esmée we have begun receiving applications to the funding stream, and expect to make our first grants in early 2017. We will list all grants on this website and announce them on our twitter account. With a clearer picture of the grants we are likely to make, we will look to commission an evaluator/external facilitator to work with us and the funded organisations in 2017.  

There was a real enthusiasm in the room at the launch from participants to continue to come together, and we aim to build on this through our support of the organisations we fund, but also of the wider sector which supports young people leaving care. We hope that this will contribute to greater consistency and levels of service a young person should expect, and receive.