Looked After Young People/Care Leavers
HEART has, as a partnership, agreed to work collaboratively to address the needs of looked after young people and care leavers in aspiring, accessing and progressing into and through higher education.
At any one time, over 60,000 young people are classified as being in care in England, i.e. where the local authority becomes ‘corporate parent’. Virtually all such young people enter care through no fault of their own, the reasons ranging from abuse/neglect, family breakdown, parents entering a period of illness or disability or general stresses on the family unit.
A range of placement types exist for young people in care, such as foster care (the largest category), adoption, homes/hostels, kinship (brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles etc.), family centres to mention a few. Whatever the mode of care statistics show that young people in care are more likely to have lower educational achievements in compulsory education, are less likely to progress to further and higher education and more likely to encounter unemployment and custodial sentences.
Although a young person in care officially becomes a care leaver at age 18 local authorities continue to have a duty of care to support them with regard to further and higher education until they are 25. This allows for the often disrupted schooling that young people in care have encountered and the likelihood that educational achievements will be delayed.
HEART therefore recognises that a strong relationship with the local authorities in West Yorkshire is vital in supporting improvements. To this end we have developed a Looked After Young People/Care Leaver Network. For further details on the network and how to get involved click HERE.