Top PDF Supporting Care Leavers: A Training and Resource Pack for Young People Leaving Care

Supporting Care Leavers: A Training and Resource Pack for Young People Leaving Care

Supporting Care Leavers: A Training and Resource Pack for Young People Leaving Care

Despite the support, Brian was placed on the child-protection register at the age of one year. James left the family home and moved into a hostel. The Social Services Department continued their support to Marie, and her care of him improved. He remained at home until the age of eight. He was however made the subject of a care order. Marie had a stroke when Brian was eight. She was in hospital for three months, during which time Brian lived with foster carers. When Marie came out of hospital, she could no longer live independently and moved into a residential unit. Brian stayed at the foster carers, but they were unable to care for him on a long-term basis. At age nine he moved to the home of Alison Swaine, a single permanent foster carer. He had regular contact with his first foster carer and visited his mother regularly.
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Making a home, finding a job: investigating early housing and employment outcomes for young people leaving care

Making a home, finding a job: investigating early housing and employment outcomes for young people leaving care

The journey to adulthood for young people leaving public care is shaped by a number of factors that include the legacy of past parenting, their experiences of being looked after, the range of practical, educational and interpersonal skills they accumulate and the effects of broader social forces that serve to structure transitions for young people more generally. The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a recent study of early outcomes for young people leaving care in relation to two critical dimensions of transition, housing and employment. Making a home base and establishing a foothold in education, training or employment are important (though not exclusive) ingredients for a successful transition to adulthood. As this paper will show, they are also closely inter-related. Although housing is an understandable first priority for young people on leaving care, faring well in housing and employment are, in combination, not only mutually reinforcing but also relate positively to other aspects of young people’s health and well-being. However, the converse is also true. Many care leavers have faced problems of homelessness, unemployment and poverty on leaving care. Some groups of young people are especially vulnerable to poor outcomes in these domains and, as we shall see, are likely to need intensive remedial support from leaving care services to assist them back on to the housing and employment ladder.
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Still Caring? Supporting Care Leavers in Scotland

Still Caring? Supporting Care Leavers in Scotland

This report showed that young people in care, in the process of leaving care and young care leavers were facing many barriers to education. Barriers include a lack of financial, emotional and practical support in relation to accommodation, isolation and loneliness, managing a myriad of responsibilities for themselves and others, educational difficulties and employment. More than 200 young people ranging in age from 13 – 25 took part in these college programmes over two years, showing that care leavers of all ages were needing to access college courses for a variety of reasons, not just those within the traditional 16 – 18 age range.
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Oportunidades y retos : apoyo en transiciones hacia la educación y el empleo para jóvenes del sistema de protección en Inglaterra

Oportunidades y retos : apoyo en transiciones hacia la educación y el empleo para jóvenes del sistema de protección en Inglaterra

Low participation rates in education, employment and training for young people in and leaving care has been an area of particular concern for policy and practice in England for many years. This is reflected in existing UK research, which has consistently shown that many care leavers face greater difficulties and disadvantage compared to other young people, as they embark upon their journeys into adulthood and involvement in education, employment and training (EET) (Stein and Carey, 1986; Biehal et al 1995; Broad, 1998; Dixon and Stein, 2005, Dixon et al, 2006). These studies show that a significant number encounter obstacles both in terms of finding and sustaining EET options in the early years after care. Furthermore, for some this will continue into later adulthood, contributing to long-term unemployment and other difficulties including homelessness, mental health problems and risk behaviour such as offending and drug and alcohol addiction, placing them at greater risk of social exclusion (Cheung and Heath, 1994, Dixon et al 2006). Alongside this, recent research has highlighted the range of obstacles facing young people transitioning from care as they begin to negotiate their journey through education and employment and consider the career options available to them. As discussed later, these obstacles can stem from pre care experiences, in care experiences and
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Improving the education of looked after children : a guide for local authorities and service providers

Improving the education of looked after children : a guide for local authorities and service providers

‘corporate parent’ for looked after children, young people and care leavers. These include key service managers in local authorities and other service providers, designated managers in schools and residential establishments, educational psychologists, teachers, social workers, residential care workers and foster carers. Although the booklet is aimed at practitioners working directly with looked after children and young people, some of the advice will be useful to others in the corporate parent family involved in planning and monitoring services, providing and analysing data, and supporting employment, training and post-school education. The guide focuses on four particular aspects of practice and includes cross-references to relevant policy and practice resources, details of which are listed in the list of key resources at the end of this booklet. The four areas of practice are as follows:
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Looked after children and further education in Scotland : a briefing paper

Looked after children and further education in Scotland : a briefing paper

The More Chances, More Choices policy articulated the then government’s commitment to reducing the proportion of young people most at risk of becoming disengaged socially and economically, the so-called NEET (not in education, employment or training) group (Scottish Executive, 2006b). Approximately one young person in seven in Scotland falls into this category, a proportion that is higher than in most other parts of the UK 4 . Care leavers are particularly at risk of being NEET. The table below, taken from the survey of destinations carried out by Skills Development Scotland nine months after the school leaving date, shows the significantly higher risk looked after children have of not being in a ‘positive destination’. Considered in another way, the table also shows the comparative advantage of being looked after away from home compared to being looked after while remaining in the family home (Scottish Government, 2010c).
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Supporting care leavers in Scottish further education colleges : a research account of a pilot programme aimed at supporting looked after young people and care leavers in further education colleges in Scotland

Supporting care leavers in Scottish further education colleges : a research account of a pilot programme aimed at supporting looked after young people and care leavers in further education colleges in Scotland

Within the FES data, 93 students (40%) in 2009-10 and 102 (38%) in 2010-11 were identified as having withdrawn from courses, with destination unknown. Course managers and project workers were asked to provide the information on where students had gone after leaving college, either having withdrawn or on completion of a course. Overall, the destinations of 66 (29%) of the 229 students in 2009-10 and 37 (14%) of the 270 students in 2010-11 were unknown. This figure varied between colleges, with a somewhat large range from 6% to 65% unknown in 2009-10. In 2010-11 the range was from 0% to 30%. The improvement noted may reflect greater success in tracking students over time. On the other hand, as with other data reported, this may be because the data were collated in June for the 2010-11 students, whereas the collation was in September for the 2009-10 students. It is possible that some of the young people indicating their intent to continue in college will not progress and their destinations may change to ‘unknown’. Because follow-on support was identified as being an important element of provision for this target group, it remains a priority to track students and work with other agencies who support the young people to ensure they do not become ‘lost’, particularly as agencies have continuing ‘corporate parent’
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Future positive : a resource guide for people working with disabled care leavers : edition 2

Future positive : a resource guide for people working with disabled care leavers : edition 2

The Cabinet Office publication, ‘Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’ and the subsequent Green Paper on adult social care ‘Independence Choice and Well- Being’, promote the use of individualised budgets. The idea is that individuals are assessed to determine their level of need and then told how much money they can spend on purchasing support in a way of their choosing. This might be from people in their local community or more traditional services. They may need a broker to help them think about how best to get this support and the money to pay the broker is likely to form part of the financial allocation. This idea was piloted through a project known as ‘In Control’ with people with learning disabilities in six council areas including Wigan where the target group was young people in transition to adulthood. The perceived success of these pilots has led the government to announce an expansion of the In Control programme and the introduction of an individualised budget pilot project with other groups of people needing support. At the time of writing, the White paper on adult social care is awaited but is likely to make this a more wide- spread option which will be available in future to young people leaving care.
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The Role of Carers in Supporting the Progress of Care Leavers in the World of Work

The Role of Carers in Supporting the Progress of Care Leavers in the World of Work

For young people exposed to earlier risk in their lives, it has been observed that the period roughly between late teens and mid-twenties seems to be a pivotal 'window of both opportunity and vulnerability' in terms of future prospects (Obradovic et al., 2006). This message from broader research underlines the significance of this time period for care leavers. It further highlights the value of seeking to help young people in care to break through the major barriers – structural and biographical – that they may face in entering the labour market. Positive experience in work is one of the ways 'later bloomers' from care, or with experience of other forms of earlier adversity, may be able to gain a chance to make up lost ground in terms of their overall prospects and development (Obradovic et al., 2006) The two institutional pillars of social inclusion for young people on the margins may be said to be education and work / employment. The children and young people in care literature has engaged extensively with the issue of education through a range of empirical and conceptual work thanks to the widely recognised inspiration of, among others, the British researcher Sonia Jackson (Jackson et al., 2005; Jackson, 2010; Jackson & Höjer, 2013). A key message emerging is the positive (and often decisive) influence of carers in the progress of the minority of young people in care who do well in education (Tilbury et al., 2014). This latter point found echoes in our earlier paper on progress in work of young people in or leaving care (Arnau & Gilligan, 2015)
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Care leaving strategies

Care leaving strategies

The project has a particular focus upon the needs of care leavers and aims to prevent cycles of care by supporting them to be confident, positive parents. Staff work to build peer support networks for young parents and to ensure that services are accessible and responsive. The project has set up antenatal classes for teenagers in response to evidence that young people can often feel excluded from mainstream services. A local Community Food Programme works in partnership with the project, promoting nutrition and healthy eating by delivering weekly boxes of fresh organic food and recipe cards to young people. Young people are also helped to access cheap cooking utensils and cookery courses.
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Supporting Young People Who Enter Into Secure Care or Custody to Reintegrate Into Communities

Supporting Young People Who Enter Into Secure Care or Custody to Reintegrate Into Communities

The UNCRC (1989) and the Scottish Government’s guidance (2011 & 2013) make it clear that when a young person appears at court, all options as an alternative to secure care and custody should be explored and that custody should be a last resort. Where custody is deemed inevitable, secure care should be used whenever possible as an alternative to prison (Scottish Government, 2011). This is supported by research that indicates reintegration strategies that produce the most favourable results are ‘holistic’ in nature (Bateman et al., 2013). That is, reintegration strategies should focus on the whole range of individuals’ needs and integrated with support provided whilst in the prison and in the community. This support is necessary not only in the early weeks of readjustment on release but also in the long term (Hollingsworth, 2013; Gary, 2011; Peters et al., 2000). Problematically, evidence suggests that young people who leave custody with a lack of resources and support have a higher risk of returning to custody, particularly when there is limited co-ordination between agencies (Griffiths et al., 2007). Employment or training also needs to be in place prior to their release to reduce the risk of reoffending (HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 2011). Research also suggests that most young people return to their family of origin on leaving secure care and prison establishments regardless of
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Resilience and Young People Leaving Care: Overcoming the odds

Resilience and Young People Leaving Care: Overcoming the odds

The shifts from a welfare perspective to more radical responses, including advocacy and a practice increasingly influenced by a developing children’s rights discourse, proved contradictory. For, although supporting the voice and self-organisation of young people in care, it had little interest in care itself or the fate of care leavers: community work, advocacy and prevention was where it was at. More mainstream childcare developments – including the priority afforded to child protection work, planning for permanency and diversion – by and large ignored care leavers. It was not until the second half of the 1980s, following sustained campaigning, publicity and research surrounding their plight – especially the exposé of young homeless care leavers – that specialist leaving-care schemes were developed to assist them (Stein, 1999).
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Provision for young care leavers at risk of homelessness

Provision for young care leavers at risk of homelessness

The current model for supporting care leavers means that young people have not usually been able to shape directly the kind of support they need. Personalised approaches as young people get a bit older, such as self-directed support (for example, leading of assessments and some choice of service) and for some, an element of personal budget, could enable care leavers to identify their own needs and make choices about how and when they are supported to live their lives. But they would need access to good information, advocacy and advice so they can make informed decisions. There is no reason why the Personal Adviser role cannot be delegated as long as any conflicts of interest are identified and managed. Young people having some control and choice over their primary support worker (e.g. someone from a leaving care service, a housing support worker, an ex-foster carer) may also help to reduce role confusion and duplication of effort as well as give care leavers more continuity.
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Research review: young people leaving care

Research review: young people leaving care

In the USA, young people placed with Casey foster carers who did well as adults were likely to have completed their high school education, attended college or job training, acquired life skills and independent living training, participated in youth clubs or organizations while in care and were less likely to be homeless within 1 year of leaving care (Pecora et al. 2004). As well as providing stability, Casey families were also able to offer a comprehensive package of practical, financial, emotional and social support, which contributed to positive educational outcomes (Pecora et al. 2006). There is also evidence from a French study that adults who grew up in care with stability and counselling to assist them had better mental health outcomes than those with unstable care careers (Dumaret et al. 1997).
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Resilience and young people leaving care

Resilience and young people leaving care

The shifts from a welfare perspective to more radical responses, including advocacy and a practice increasingly influenced by a developing children’s rights discourse, proved contradictory. For, although supporting the voice and self-organisation of young people in care, it had little interest in care itself or the fate of care leavers: community work, advocacy and prevention was where it was at. More mainstream childcare developments – including the priority afforded to child protection work, planning for permanency and diversion – by and large ignored care leavers. It was not until the second half of the 1980s, following sustained campaigning, publicity and research surrounding their plight – especially the exposé of young homeless care leavers – that specialist leaving-care schemes were developed to assist them (Stein, 1999).
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NICCY rights review 2008

NICCY rights review 2008

insufficient attention to the specific concerns of adolescents as rights holders and to promoting their health and development. The Committee clarifies that the grounds in Article 2 (non-discrimination) should be interpreted as covering adolescent’s sexual orientation and health status, including HIV/AIDS and mental health (Para.6). They point out that the right to information in Article 17 should include access to information on family planning, prevention of accidents, and the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances (Para.10). The right to privacy and confidentiality (Article 16) applies to advice and counselling on health matters (Para.11). States are urged to adopt special measures to ensure the physical, sexual and mental integrity of adolescents with disabilities and to ensure that adolescents who are affected by poverty and socially marginalised are not criminalised (Para.12). The Committee also makes reference to the need for specific programmes to promote road safety (Para. 21) and prevent suicide (Para.22). Special efforts are advocated to protect vulnerable adolescents for example the homeless or those in institutions for young people with disabilities (Para. 23). In relation to mental health, States are urged to provide adequate treatment within the adolescent’s community, and to hospitalise only where this is in their best interests and where they are separated from adult services. While hospitalised, adolescents should be able to access education, recreation and
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Investigating ‘care leaver’ identity:A narrative analysis of personal experience stories

Investigating ‘care leaver’ identity:A narrative analysis of personal experience stories

The promotional purpose of the personal experience stories is demonstrated through the persuasive language used by the charities that have included the stories in their report or on their websites. For example, in the foreword to the NIACE report, from which over half the stories are taken, the rhetorical question ‘can you imagine’, followed by a description of a scenario of hardship represented as typical ‘care leaver’ experience, is repeated three times. This repeated question represents a challenge to the reader to empathize with care leavers as a socially disadvantaged group. Evidence of the clear promotional purpose of the charities suggests that ‘care leavers’ may have produced their stories with the expectation that they should illustrate hardship in order to justify their status as a worthy cause.
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Leaving Local Authority Care: The Experiences of Separated Young People Seeking Asylum in the UK

Leaving Local Authority Care: The Experiences of Separated Young People Seeking Asylum in the UK

awareness of the uncertainty of their futures than others. All of which is compounded further by lack of emotional and social support (Marriott, 2001; Wade, Mitchel & Baylis, 2005), poor housing and insecurity (Marriott, 2001). Thommessen, Corcoran and Todd (2015) completed a qualitative study exploring how a cohort of male separated children and young people from Afghanistan experienced arriving to their host country (Sweden) and the support provided them. Interviews were conducted with 6 participant who had been resident in Sweden for between 2-3 years. From this they identified four main themes of ‘From Danger to Safety’, ‘Living in Limbo’, ‘Guidance and Social Support’, and ‘Striving to Fit in and Move Forward’. Thommessen et al.’s reflections highlighted factors such as the positive effects of ‘openness’ and ‘friendliness’ in providing a sense of safety for the young men. They also highlighted how uncertainty surrounding asylum applications and a lack of information about family left behind perpetuated a sense of being in limbo. The continued need for adult guidance and the importance of education for
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"Now all I care about is my future" : Supporting the shift : Framework for the effective resettlement of young people leaving custody (Full report)

"Now all I care about is my future" : Supporting the shift : Framework for the effective resettlement of young people leaving custody (Full report)

Policymakers should be wary of insisting that service providers are firm or inflexible when enforcing statutory requirements. Such strictness, encouraged by national standards in the past, may result in reinforcing young person’s resistance, underlining their negative identity and narrative about the world (Bateman and Hazel, 2013:27). Punitive or reactive responses can entrench problematic behaviour rather than address it, whereas support to build optimism, confidence and commitment can be more effective (Wright and Liddle, 2014). Informal supporters are in a particularly good place to emphasise to young people that relapse is part of the ‘old self’. They can empathise and make it clear that any destructive behaviour does not fit with how they think of the young person now, showing faith in what they are capable of in the future (Hazel et al, 2016).
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