More support needed for young people in and leaving care

12 November 2013

NIACE has responded to the report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, which shows that the vast majority of young people leaving care are not receiving the help and support they are entitled to.

Carol Taylor, Director for Development and Research at NIACE, said:

“This report confirms many of the experiences young care leavers have been sharing with us over recent years. During this time we have been calling for more effective and joined-up support for young people in, and leaving, care. This is especially important as they become adults and start independent lives, at a time when many of their peers still have the support of their families. We know that some young people have positive experiences of being in care, and get the support they need to achieve and progress in learning. However – and this has been confirmed by today’s report – that many young people are failed by the system and are not aware of the support that’s available to them. It is no surprise then that they are far less likely to enter either further or higher education, gain an apprenticeship or to get a stable job.

“However, last week we were pleased to see the Government’s new cross departmental strategy to support young people leaving care. This strategy means that all Government departments will work together to address the needs of care leavers.

“Care leavers can be particularly vulnerable and the learning and skills system has a social and moral responsibility to provide well-planned and integrated support. We want all care leavers to be able to easily access a whole range of learning opportunities, which will then help them to develop more self-belief and achieve their potential.”