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Improved package of support for care leavers to assist journey to adulthood

15 March 2024

Councillors will be asked to approve a new and improved package of support  for children who have been cared for by the council at the next Cabinet meeting on Friday 22 March 2024. 

In any given year, the council looks after more than 400 children who cannot live with their birth families. When children leave care as young adults, the council is responsible for helping them to transition into adulthood and settle into the community.

The council has always offered support to care leavers but this report outlines a new and improved package of support which will be easier for care leavers to access including payments for clothes, bills, activities and food; van or car hire to help them move into their first home; driving lessons; Vivacity gym and leisure passes; financial support for medical prescriptions and a 100 per cent discount on council tax until they reach the age of 25.

The proposals also include setting up a city centre drop-in service for care leavers to be able to access advice and support and learn vital life skills.

Councillor Ray Bisby, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We are proud corporate parents to all the children and young people in our care and just like any other parent we have high aspirations for our children and want to support and encourage them to become independent and productive members of the community.

“Our own self-evaluation told us that we needed to do more for care leavers, and this was reinforced by Ofsted inspectors who raised concerns about our current offer at our latest inspection in November.

“This proposal is asking Cabinet to back a whole range of support that will ensure our young people feel valued and supported and are properly prepared for adulthood and independent living.”

Other improvements include providing care leavers who are struggling financially with a smart phone; a first shop of essential items when they move into their first independent home and driving lessons for when they need to drive for a chosen career they are working towards.

The Cabinet will also be asked to approve the development of a phase two programme of improvements which would be a more city-wide focused plan bringing together other statutory partners and businesses and could include setting up ‘training flats’ in the city to teach young people the skills they need to live independently.

To read the report visit https://democracy.peterborough.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=116&MId=5046&Ver=4