What is the Best Way to Support Care Leavers in Swansea?

Picture Courtesy www.thewhocarestrust.org.uk

According to the National Care Advisory Service ‘young people who have spent time in care tend to have poorer outcomes than their peers. Care leavers are more likely to have poor educational performance, contact with the criminal justice system, poorer health and be vulnerable to homelessness and unemployment. It is therefore very important that they are supported when they are leaving care and make the transition to adulthood.’

 The Council’s Child & Family Services Overview & Scrutiny Board is concerned about this and decided at its last meeting to carry out an in-depth review in order to influence policy and practice. The Board’s review will examine the services and support available to care leavers in Swansea.

 The City & County of Swansea is currently responsible for 119 care leavers who are 16+. The Councillors recognised that many looked after children will have had complex problems and remain vulnerable and at risk when leaving care and need ongoing support and opportunities to help them succeed.

 A Task & Finish Group, chaired by Councillor Paxton Hood-Williams, has been set up. The Councillors leading this work will be particularly interested in learning about the experience of those leaving care and the ways of working and good practice elsewhere. Its work is likely to go on until July and will be concluded with the publication of a report with conclusions and recommendations for improvement.

 The review will benefit from the input of service providers (including front line professionals), service users, relevant organisations and academic research.

The Board will be planning a series of evidence sessions – you can post your views here or get in touch with me at scrutiny@swansea.gov.uk.

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