Care leavers can often have challenging transitions out-of-care, negatively impacting on their preparation for adulthood. Within Derby the outcomes of care leavers are lower than the comparator average when comparing education results, acquiring suitable accommodation and NEET. They also have issues with social exclusion and low self-esteem, which can materialise in health difficulties and financial insecurity. This is despite Derby achieving a high contact rate amongst care leavers with the traditional personal advisor.
Within Derby care leaver destinations fall pre-dominantly across seven wards, with four wards having the majority of temporary, residential or hostel accommodation. It is within these wards that a designated Local Area Coordinators will be located.
The model of Local Area Coordination provides a single point of contact embedded in the local community. At present coordinators provide support to approximately 40 individuals. This project will start at 20 individuals and be a mixed economy of both 16-18 age range and post 18 age. The relationship is voluntary and the skills of the coordinator are key in forming an initial relationship. Where Local Area Coordination relationships do not take hold, personal advisor support will still be available.
The focus is to operate at both individual and community levels, to support care leavers to plan, select and receive a range of support to help them achieve their vision for a good life – “Get a life not a service”.
We are aiming to improve the long-term outcomes and resilience for care leavers moving in to adulthood, to ultimately lower social isolation through the formation of relationships within the community and to reduce reliance on benefits through support to access education, employment and training. Furthermore, we hope to improve the independence of young people by equipping them with skills in finance, budgeting, daily living and connections to the local community.
Social Capital Development Manager
Southern Derbyshire CCG, National Local Area Coordination Network