Local data and feedback from staff and young people in Southwark indicated that there could be better joint working across internal Council services and external providers, more opportunities for young people to get involved with the service, less bureaucracy, more education, employment and training opportunities for care leavers, and closer relationships between young people and staff. The ultimate aims were to create stable, consistent care leaver teams and continuity in relationships, a positive transition to independence for care leavers, and long-term improvements in outcomes such as health, housing, finances.
Southwark Council and Catch22 trialled new ways of working within the Leaving Care service to improve outcomes for care leavers. The project focused on co-designing the service with staff, partners and care leavers, increasing the use of social capital in the community and trialling a new staffing model.
Southwark Council and Catch22 have developed and tested many initiatives within the service, including:
- Providing more opportunities for young people to participate in service redesign
- Unlocking social capital in the Council and local community through corporate parenting to create more opportunities for care leavers and find support mechanisms
- Supporting care leavers to develop family and friends networks and mentoring relationships
- Increasing the amount of specialist staff embedded in the service to upskill colleagues, focus on high need cases, and develop networks in the local community
- 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 and providing more opportunities for social interaction
- Trialling a new practice model, amending the pathway plan and improving recording systems
- Analysing the NEET cohort and putting in place initiatives to improve EET outcomes
Southwark Council and Catch22 have now completed their partnership project. The project has been mainstreamed into Southwark Council’s Leaving Care service.