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Cambridgeshire County Council are Celebrating National Care Leavers Week!

24 October 2022

Running from 24th to 28th October, National Care Leavers week raises awareness of care leavers and the challenges they face. This year the focus is on the importance of ensuring support for young people continues beyond leaving care, to help them transition well and improve their future opportunities.

As corporate parents Cambridgeshire County Council strives to continue its commitment to young people leaving care by supporting them through the challenges the face when preparing for adulthood. Including routes into further education, seeking employment, finding accommodation and relationship and financial guidance.

This year the council has ensured care leavers are still supported from the moment they leave care, with a welcome pack that helps them understand exactly what support they are entitled to and how to access support. Including drop-in sessions to help young people socialise and develop their own networks, particularly if they are from an unaccompanied asylum seeker background.

To support those living independently, the council have made young care leavers exempt from paying council tax until the age of 21 and created a fund that allows the council to provide financial intervention for those who need it, as well as access to a tenancy course.

Research suggests that when care leavers have adequate access to devices and the online world, they feel better able to fully participate in and benefit from education, employment, access professional support and maintain and develop supportive social networks. To help Care Leavers stay connected, the council have linked with organisations who tackle digital exclusion, to provide young care leavers with six months connectivity data and are refurbishing and redistributing council owned Chromebooks and laptops that are no longer needed through the scheme.

It’s important that young care leavers are well supported when stepping into the world of work, so the council have engaged with major local employers to host taster sessions and seminars to inspire, help and encourage them into work. The Care Leavers Covenant have also collaborated with the council to support young care leavers to connect with local employers.

To celebrate the achievements of our Care Leavers, this year our Personal Advisers are making nominations to recognise our young people for their achievements over the past year and all those nominated will receive a voucher and a certificate.

Councillor Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee said: “Leaving care and embracing independent living can be daunting – it’s a huge learning curve for any young person. As corporate parents it’s our job to make sure that young people leaving care are ready for what’s next and know they’re supported as they take those first steps into independence. We remain committed to continuing to support our inspiring care leavers with everything from continued education, finding work and developing life skills.”

Find out more about support for young care leavers in Cambridgeshire: