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Wolverhampton Council launches new project to support care leavers (2 November 2015)

Date: 02/11/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Wolverhampton Council launches new project to support care leavers

A new project has been launched in Wolverhampton to improve the transition process for young adults leaving care.

Launched to coincide with National Care Leavers Week, the project New Belongings aims to give care leavers a good start in the next chapter of their lives.

Those who are about to make or have recently made the move took part in a wide range of activities during National Care Leavers Week to celebrate their progress.

At the same time, the council launched New Belongings, which aims to raise the expectations and aspirations of care leavers – and reduce the sense of long-term isolation often experienced by people after they leave care.

Over the last two decades, the City of Wolverhampton Council has helped more than 1,000 young people make the move out of care to independent living.

The council will now create a Care Leavers Charter, outlining the help and support care leavers can expect – and will establish a forum giving care leavers a greater say over the services they either get, or would like to receive.

The council will also improve contact with young people after they leave care to ensure they are progressing well – and extra support will be given to develop their independence skills and get a feel for adult life.

At the same time, care leavers will be given greater opportunities to access apprenticeship and work experience opportunities in Wolverhampton – as well as having the chance to improve their health and wellbeing, with the provision of special drop in health clinics and discounts at the council's WV Active leisure centres.

Young care leavers will also be offered a plot at a local allotment to enable them to grow their own vegetables and fruit within the community.

The City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Councillor Val Gibson, said:

“Supporting care leavers is a key priority for the council – and we want our young people to have the best possible chance to succeed.

“Young people in care have often had a very difficult start to their lives, so it's important that we give them the help they need to make the transition into adulthood.

“New Belongings is a national project that has seen successful outcomes for care leavers in other authorities – we are confident that we will be able to replicate this success by developing some fantastic new services to make the transition process as smooth as possible.”

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