CCLA supports launch of young care leaver scheme

The £3.6m programme will support young care leavers transitioning to adulthood

The teenage boy smiles encouragingly at his unrecognizable friend during their meeting with their female teacher.


Holly Downes

The UK Community Foundations (UKCF) have launched the Care Leaver Programme, which aims to support young adults leaving care to transition to adulthood in the UK, with support from CCLA.

The £3.6m match-fund scheme will run over three years and is being funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of CCLA. The programme has a primary focus of improving the lives of care leavers through decentralised funding into regions around the country.

Parliament research reveals there were 46,000 care leavers between 17- and 21-years-old in England alone in 2022. A range of factors affect younger care leavers, particularly gaps in transitional and practical support which means they are less likely get the support they need. These gaps appear in relationships, mentoring, education, employment and mental health.

Further, 17 community foundations from around the country will work closely with their respective local authorities to fund care leavers and charitable organisations that support care leavers navigating adulthood.

The fund will first provide practical and holistic support to care leavers. Examples of support include giving guidance for care leavers experiencing homelessness in the West Midlands; providing positive practical experiences for young care leavers in Cambridgeshire; offering one-to-one personal and professional work-based mentoring in Cumbria; helping parent care leavers and migrant care leavers in Essex and direct financial support for care leavers to help with education, training or employment in Surrey.

It will also enable community foundations to identify funding gaps in each region and collaborate with local organisations and authorities, facilitating a long-term plan of impact for care leavers.

Rosemary Macdonald BEM, chief executive at UK Community Foundations, said: “Inequalities for care leavers differ from region to region, and it is key we harness the knowledge of local organisations to not just fund fantastic projects for young people leaving the care system, but to nurture those relationships and keep the momentum going to make real change happen.

“We hope to use this programme as a way of uniting communities and authorities, to explore local solutions to local issues and use the learning to influence wider support for care leavers.”

Shaun Davies, chair of the Local Government Association, added: “Councils support thousands of young people who become care leavers every year whether that is finding a home to live in or help into work. Alongside our communities, the LGA is delighted to be able to support this fantastic new initiative which can help to transform care leavers’ lives as they make the transition into adulthood.”

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