Caroline Helps Deliver Support For Care Leavers

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, will be sitting on the Care Leavers Covenant Board to help remove the barriers young people face when leaving care.

Statistics show that 40% of young carers aged 19 to 21 are deemed ‘not in education, employment or training’ in comparison to the 13% of this age group overall.  

This National Care Leavers Week the Government are investing £19 million into programmes to benefit young people leaving the care system and have announced a new cross-government support package that will help them gain better access to further education, housing, healthcare and employment.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Young people leaving care face enormous barriers in their lives as they move towards independence, from not having a trusted person in their life to rely on, to not having a safe home to return to at the end of the day.

“Housing, healthcare and education are three of the biggest obstacles they have to overcome. We all have a responsibility to do better for them – so I’m bringing together colleagues from across government to join me in transforming the support we offer care leavers in all of these key areas to make the biggest difference in their lives.

“This starts immediately, because we must raise the bar for these young people, to give them greater stability and a strong sense of purpose in adulthood.”

New measures include:

  • £10 million to create stable homes through expanding Staying Put, helping care leavers stay in foster homes until they are 21
  • £6 million to help cares live independently with the roll out of Staying Close
  • £3 million to help them go into further education with the extension of Pupil Premium Plus
  • 1000 internships to be made available over the next two years

The drive by the Government aims to ensure that young people have access to stable and secure housing, education, skills and training that they need to have a bright future once they leave care.

The Care Leavers Covenant Board, chaired by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and Minister for the Cabinet Oliver Downden, will be a cross-department board meeting three times a year to address key barriers that they face.  

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Oliver Dowden, said:

“My role in the Cabinet Office is to pull together all the different parts of government, so that they work together on the issues that really matter. Through better coordination we can massively improve the support that’s available to young people leaving the care system and make sure they can become independent adults with a bright future ahead of them.”

Local MP and Health Minister Caroline Dinenage commented:

“I am honoured to sit on the Care Leavers Covenant Board to help young carers get a great start as they leave the care system. I look forward to seeing how the measures we are bringing forward will help give them this start.”