Care leavers’ well-being during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Key Messages for Leaving Care Workers

Guest piece post from: Linda Briheim-Crookall, Head of Policy and Practice Development

New Insight paper from Coram Voice:

Coram Voice has collated this new Insight Paper. Please circulate to any contacts who you think it may be useful to.

Responding to Coronavirus is a challenge for us all and no different in our work with children in care and care leavers. As we respond to new circumstances it is important that services not only to keep our children and young people safe and supported but to make their lives as positive as possible at this time.

This Insight Paper is part of a series looking at how services are responding to what young people are telling us are important to them. Each paper will focus on a specific issue identified through our Bright Spots and New Belongings programmes, giving examples of how services are responding and identifying useful resources. In this paper we examine the role of the leaving care worker and the messages young people have told us about how important their worker is to them.

Please have a read and share it with your contacts to ensure young people views are heard. We hope this will inform your work and that of others in supporting and developing the ways that leaving care workers help care leavers at this difficult time.

What is the insight paper about?

· Our Bright Spots research, developed in partnership with the Rees Centre at the University of Oxford, found that leaving care workers/personal advisers were really important to care leavers

· When asked ‘who gave them emotional support?’- just over half of care leavers said it was their leaving care worker (second only to friends). A majority of care leavers trusted and felt that they could easily get in touch with their workers.

· However, we also know that 23% of care leavers have low well being, which the current crisis is exacerbating – given the important role of their workers, the support that they will be able to offer at this time will be crucial.

· To support leaving care workers and services we have included examples of what different local authorities are doing to respond to Coronavirus– from risk assessing who is most vulnerable and identifying what support they need to holding online cookery competitions to relieve boredom.

· The paper outines 10 “top tips” to help develop or review your services and includes links to other resources and support for young people.

What can you do?

· Be inspired to make a change in your area by reading what local authorities have done and the key messages from young people. https://coramvoice.org.uk/latest/care-leavers-well-being-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-key-messages-for-leaving-care-workers/

· Sign up to our Voices Improving Care updates to keep hearing about how we and our partners work with children in and from care to change policy and practice for the better. Sign up to our newsletter

· Support young people to be part of A National Voice is the ‘National Children in Care Council’ for children in care and care leavers aged 11-26, who are passionate about how the care system works and how it affects those within it. anv@coramvoice.org.uk

· If you want to find out more about any of these projects and the work we do with local authorities get in touch. Email brightspots@coramvoice.org.uk

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