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More support for children in care and care leavers

Despite big improvements over the last decade, London’s children in care still face many obstacles and many remain particularly vulnerable. This means fewer care leavers go onto further training or university and more face unemployment as adults.

 

The Mayor is supporting care leavers, children in care, foster carers and early intervention and prevention to work with families.

Action for care leavers

The Mayor supports The Children Society campaign for councils to make care leavers exempt from paying council tax until they turn 25; giving these young people a few valuable years to learn how to manage their finances and have a better chance at avoiding problems with debt in the future.

 

Care leavers across London benefit from the Mayor supporting borough schemes for council tax exemption by waiving the GLA precept charge.

 

The Mayor has signed-up for the Department for Education’s Care Leaver Covenant with six offers of support for care leavers:

 

  1. Council tax and GLA precept exemption
  2. GLA Apprenticeship scheme
  3. Insecure Migration Status
  4. Peer Outreach Team work with care leavers
  5. Post 16 education, employment and training
  6. Youth mental health first aid training

 

Mayor’s care-leavers covenant actions

 

Education, employment and training support for care leavers

The Care Leavers into Work project is delivered by Drive Forward Foundation and is part of the Mayor’s Youth Innovation Fund co-funded by European Social Fund (ESF). The project supports care leavers 16-24 make the transition into sustained employment, education or training.

 

A new ESF programme will be launched in November 2018 and will include programmes which support care leavers.

Other initiatives for children in care

The Mayor has two programmes which help support children who need more help at school. The Stepping Stones toolkit provides free resources and the Schools for Success programme offers school to school support for disadvantaged children, including children in care

 

  • Stepping Stones Primary to Secondary programme supports successful transition from primary. The toolkit and evaluation helps other schools replicate Stepping Stones successful peer mentoring, summer school and academic support. The programme was developed by and piloted in 2016/17 by Gladesmore Community School, Urswick School, Heathcote School and Science College and their feeder primary schools. 15 more schools are now being supported to deliver Stepping Stones, funded through the Young Londoners Fund. london.gov.uk/stepping-stones

 

  • Schools for Success school led events help London schools to learn from the expertise of the Mayor's Schools for Success, who were selected by the Mayor based on the exceptional progress they have made with low prior attaining pupils. london.gov.uk/schools-for-success

 

Team London grant for London Children in Care Council

The Mayor’s Team London social action funding is supporting the London Children in Care Council (CiCC).  The project engages young people in a social action project to raise awareness of three key issues which young people at the London CiCC have prioritised and chosen to focus on:

 

  1. Education – accessing support;
  2. Accommodation – preparation for independent living;
  3. Money/budgeting – managing and spending it wisely.

 

The Mayor’s Team London and Thrive LDN grants programme is supporting community groups and small charities to run social action projects with vulnerable young Londoners who are disproportionally affected by poor mental health. Looked after children are one of the specific target groups. More details https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/reducing-barriers-social-mobility/young-london-inspired-multi-year-grants

Early intervention and prevention

The Pan-London Care Impact Partnership is a new model for funding services with a Social Impact Bond. City Hall led the development with Merton, Tower Hamlets, Bexley, Newham and Sutton councils.  The boroughs are working together to deliver new Family Therapy services. The aim is to help keep vulnerable families together and prevent children from being taken into care where possible. The Social Impact Bond continues to 2021.