Lessons from supporting young people with care experience during COVID-19

In a new report, we share insights on supporting young people with care experience through COVID-19. It's for everyone who wants to improve the care leaver system. By sharing it, we hope not only to celebrate what has been possible, but also to inspire others to carry forward successful practice and approaches into the future.

Where do you start, when all your plans have been turned on their head? For many organisations we support through our Leaving Care Funding Stream, it meant delivering their work in completely new ways.

We have run a Learning Programme alongside the funding stream since inception, to facilitate learning between grantees and to draw out collective insight to help improve the wider care leaver system. With the onset of COVID-19, plans for face-to-face events were quickly cancelled, and the programme moved online, facilitating regular virtual conversations for organisations to discuss their experiences of the crisis, find peer support, and share useful resources and examples of adapted practice that others could draw from.

This report shares insights from those conversations. It includes learning about what makes effective digital delivery, how to support young people and staff teams remotely, and the type of support organisations require from funders and partners to do this successfully.

The lockdown brought into sharp focus areas where the current system does not set those leaving care up to thrive. Access to digital, for example, should be viewed as a basic necessity for all young people, and without this many risk being further excluded from valuable support.

We will continue to work in collaboration with others, using all of the tools available to us as a funder to address these challenges and unlock the change we want to see for care experienced young people.

You can learn more about the young people's lockdown experiences and enjoy some of their creative output below:

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