During the week we will be sending letters to our care leavers to congratulate them on their successes as well as raise awareness of our care leavers' local offer
and pledge to 18 to 25 year olds so they know what support they can receive from us to help them to be safe, happy, ambitious and independent.
As part of our corporate parenting commitment to care leavers we have been successfully running a mentoring scheme for young people for over a year. The mentors receive safeguarding, attachment and mentoring training, so they are well equipped to be successful mentors and to develop professional mentoring relationships providing clear objectives for the young people.
Some of our senior managers including our chief executive have been mentoring young people by sharing their time and expertise to support them on their academic and/or career pathway including helping them apply for jobs, training courses, university applications and running their own businesses.
The scheme has been has been a source of support for young people. One example is Kerry* who had to care for her siblings as well as having to complete A-levels and cope with a placement move. She achieved an excellent set of A-level results plus a Duke of Edinburgh’s award and is now attending university. She received support from her mentor in confidence building, university applications, and speech preparation for the council’s Bright Stars awards. Kerry’s mentor moved abroad but the mentoring relationship has continued to thrive online.
The council’s Leaving Care Service and Virtual School
are also helping to make the authority’s pledge a reality by supporting young people into education, training and employment. The majority of our 16 and 17 year olds have personal educational plans in place. This has prepared them to secure places in colleges and training courses to prepare them for the world of work.
Cllr Mahmood Hussain, portfolio holder with responsibility for children and young people, said: “We are so proud of our amazing care leavers who have achieved so much in spite of the many challenges they have had to overcome. During National Care Leavers Week we want to acknowledge their successes but also let them know that they are not alone.
“Leaving care can be very daunting and we want to reassure our young people that we are here to give them all the support they need to help them confidently move into adult life. We pledge to help them find a safe place to live, to assist them to be resilient by ensuring they are aware of their rights and responsibilities and have the skills to be self-sufficient so that they can reach their goals and career aspirations.”
*Kerry – not her real name to protect her identity.