Delivering a Care Leavers' Strategy for Traineeships and Apprenticeships: A Submission From the Centre for Social Justice to the Children's Commissioner for England.
The Centre for Social Justice (London, England).
Published: August 2016
The Centre for Social Justice
34a Queen Anne's Gate
London, England SW1H 9AB, Tel: 020 7227 9999
This report discusses the barriers that prevent care leavers in the United Kingdom foster care system from finding apprenticeships and training and offers 17 policy recommendations to support the government’s continued development of services for and support to care leavers, focusing primarily on traineeships and apprenticeships. Recommendations include: allow care leavers to retain their benefits during the first month of an apprenticeship; allow care leavers to retain their Housing Benefit at the existing level for the first month of an apprenticeship or traineeship to ease transition; extend ‘Staying Put’, the Government’s policy of allowing looked-after children to stay in foster care until the age of 21, to residential care leavers; make it a requirement for every local authority to allocate ‘small sum discretionary funds’ for each care leaver; make higher education funding portable for 16–19-year-olds, allowing it to be used flexibly; enhance the role and status of personal advisers; make it a requirement that personal advisers connect with children in care from the age of 14 and continue with them until the age of 25; make personal advisers a care leaver’s principle source of support, information, and advice; improve provision and content of Personal pathway plans for care leavers; consider starting traineeships at the age of 14, using schools as Traineeship Centers; ensure apprenticeships are of good quality and have built in aspirational progression; ensure the Department for Education works closely with schools to encourage the promotion of apprenticeships for all school leavers as well as care leavers; and give Ofsted and the Skills Funding Agency special dispensation for employers who take on more challenging groups, including care leavers.
United Kingdom; foster adolescents; aging out; employment; independent living skills; independent living; extended foster care; child welfare reform; job training; vocational training