New fund to support care leavers

29 Jun 2020 12:04
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Some of the most potentially vulnerable people in borough are being supported with the help of a £100,000 fund.

It is aimed specifically at young people who are leaving care, but who may suffer a range of disadvantages due to their background and lack of family support networks.

The fund will support them into independence, keep safe and access opportunities for education, employment and training.

Care leavers are eligible for support up to the age of 25. The Care and Support Service (Leaving Care Service) supports around 140 care leavers in Bury at any one time.

Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council, said: “Every young person matters in Bury, and we will do all we can to make sure all of them have the opportunity to flourish.

“The fact is that many care leavers are not playing on a level field, through no fault of their own.

“Their schooling may have been disrupted, or they may have suffered traumatic events in their childhood which affect their wellbeing, confidence and motivation.

“Many care leavers also have financial concerns. When a young person sets up home, goes to college or takes up a new job, they often have the support and guidance of their family, but this is not available to many care leavers.”

The fund can be accessed by care leavers to pay for support or items that are not covered by statutory services. This could be driving lessons or training courses to help them gain employment, fees to help them attend higher education or money to support their independent tenancies.

The initiative is being managed by a dedicated group which includes people who had been in care to ensure the funds are spent on the best support, and is completely separate to other social care budgets.

Cllr O’Brien added: “While social care offers lots of support, the everyday backing such as a phone call when you have an interview to attend or advice on household chores is important too.

“These practical aspects of independent living can also help to deal with and avoid issues such as substance abuse, relationship breakdown, or moving home.”


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