Local Offers for Care Leavers
Local Offers for Care Leavers
A guide for young people and those who care for them on their local authority’s Local Offer and information about the services and support available.
1. Introduction to local offers for care leavers
Local authorities are required by the 2017 Children and Social Work Act 2017 to consult on and publish a local offer for its care leavers.
The ‘Local Offer’ is important to young people post 18yrs and also good information for foster carers and others caring for them to help them access support, advice and services.
The Local Offer provides information about all the services and support that is available to care leavers from the local authority including information about both their statutory entitlements as well as any discretionary support that a local authority chooses to provide.
The local authorities have seven categories in which they must support care leavers, and the local offer must detail how they intend to provide this, what they provide and how.
2. What services and support should be included in the local offer?
Details of the services and support in the Local Offer should include details of the services and support that may assist care leavers, moving into adulthood and independent living, that the local authority provides in relation to the following:
Health and wellbeing:
This will include services that teach about, support and enable good health and wellbeing. It should include links to, or information about, universal health services that might be particularly relevant to care leavers, as well as specific health and wellbeing services targeted at them.
having strong and supportive relationships is crucially important for care leavers as they move to independent adult life. Local authorities will want to consider the services and/ or support that is available to help care leavers develop and maintain positive social networks and to understand what positive relationships look like.
Education and training:
Care leavers should be supported to access appropriate education or training that will enable them to fulfil their goals. This will include the statutory support available to care leavers, such as the £2,000 bursary for care leavers in Higher Education, as well as any other support from the local authority; and signpost to universal information such as careers advice and financial support for young people.
This will include information to care leavers about general employment support, such as careers support and links to local Jobcentre Plus. Local authorities should also include any other employment support that they or partners deliver that is specifically available to care leavers, for example, any apprenticeships that the local authority offers, in particular where such opportunities are ring-fenced for care leavers.
Care leavers should be supported to access appropriate and suitable accommodation. The local authority should include relevant information about their Staying Put policy, the support available from Housing Services and any other assistance that is available to care leavers, such as advice on maintaining a tenancy.
Participation in society:
This will include links to and information about activities, events or volunteering opportunities available in the local area that care leavers can get involved.
Further things that can be included:
Each local authority (LA) will choose to prioritise different types of non-statutory support, so each local offer will be unique. The following bullet points provide a guide to what could be included:
- The local offer should include the support LAs will provide across all of its departments/services (for example, Housing and Leisure Services), not just the support provided by the Children’s Services Department.
- The local offer should include – and differentiate between – both care leavers’ statutory entitlements (which all care leavers in England are entitled to) and other additional support that LAs choose to provide to demonstrate their commitment to being the young person’s ‘corporate parent’.
- Where a partner organisation provides a discrete service for care leavers – such as a health drop-in exclusively for care leavers – and the LA is confident that there is an ongoing commitment from the partner organisation to provide that service/support, it should be included as part of the local offer.
- However, where a partner organisation is offering a service that is available to all young people, but there is no bespoke service for care leavers – such as a young people’s sexual health clinic, or a careers advice service for all 16-25-year-olds – it may be more appropriate to signpost/provide a link to that service, rather than to include it as part of the local offer.
Organisations other than the LA will be encouraged to use the care leaver covenant to set out their offer to care leavers.
The Care Leaver’s Local Offer Website
This new website helps you and your young people to find your LA’s Local Offer and check what provision they are offering for young people who are leaving care.
Search for your local authority offer There is a very simple search function on the front page of the website, you simply enter your local authority to find out their Local Offer.
It also helps you compare different local authorities to discover how they support care leavers and encourage councils to improve support in multiple areas.
The website’s resources section contains lots of useful documents, leaflets and information that can be viewed and downloaded. The website also has a blog section where they publish news, information and announcements from their team. Their mission is to empower young people to campaign for the things they want and create systemic change together and encourage all those that are interested in getting things improved for children and care leavers.
- Government Care Leavers Local Offer guidance
- Children and Social Work Act 2017
- The Care Leaver’s Local Offer Website
- Staying Put
Information, Help and Support
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