Care Leavers Partnership
Southwark Council and Catch22 have been working in partnership since May 2017, with the aim of designing and testing new ways of working to support the borough’s care leavers. This project is known as the Care Leavers Partnership (CLP) and has been funded by the Innovation Fund until March 2020.
Local data, and feedback from staff and young people in Southwark, tells us that far too many care leavers are not in education, employment or training, have unmet health needs, are not prepared sufficiently for young adult life and live in unstable accommodation. A disproportionate number end up in custody. Existing ways of working can inhibit the development of the effective relationships needed to support young people into adulthood. The system is hindered by bureaucracy and compliance and is tied by traditional statutory roles. Services delivered are not always matched to care leaver’s expressed needs and the culture of aspiration and achievement could be heightened. However, with the right support, we believe that all care leavers can thrive.
Southwark Council and Catch22 are working in partnership to improve the service by:
- Utilising social capital in the Council and local community to create more employment and training and other support opportunities for care leavers
- Supporting care leavers to develop family and friends networks, who can support care leavers through their journeys to independence
- Increasing the amount of specialist non-social workers embedded in the service to upskill colleagues and develop networks in the local community
- Providing more co-design and social interaction opportunities for young people to participate in service redesign and reduce loneliness
- Reducing bureaucracy and operating more flexibly to increase the amount of time staff spend face to face with young people
- Finding better ways to communicate with young people
- Establishing the partnership and progressing this important work will demonstrate how a co-designed, needs-led model can transform outcomes for young people. This should deliver benefits for care leavers such as improved health, education and positive relationship outcomes, and to a better transition to independence. In addition, this should deliver benefits to staff, which in turn will ensure stable, consistent care leaver teams and relational continuity.