HEART worked to secure a looked after children (LAC) and care leavers network event bringing together our partners and representatives from both LAC and care leaver teams for the five West Yorkshire Local Authorities. The first network meeting took place on Thursday 13 December 2012.
Attendees were grouped in order that HEART partners were seated with local authorities other than their home authority.
Group discussions took place, allowing contacts to be exchanged and issues to be raised. Three key issues were addressed:
a. How to ensure coordinated communications between Local Authorities (LA) and HEART partners (and others?)
b. How can HEART partners best support LA teams in offering the most appropriate information and support to LAC/Care Leavers?
c. How can LA teams best support HEART partners in engaging with LAC/Care Leavers?
Key ideas were then shared, highlighted and a series of actions and key messages were developed.
Everyone attending agreed that the network had been very useful and that it should be repeated every six months. The next network meeting will take place in June 2013; watch our event listing for details.
Before the next network meeting it was agreed that a series of coffee mornings be held across the HEART partnership where foster carers, residential care staff and social workers are invited onto campus to talk about the opportunities and support available to care leavers on entering higher education. We aim to run the coffee mornings throughout spring 2013, watch our event listings for details of these as they are confirmed.
We thank everyone who took part in the network and for the enthusiasm and commitment shown to ensuring that looked after children and care leavers get the best advice and guidance possible.