Target group: Researchers, Policy Makers, Service Managers and Decision Makers, Leaving Care Practitioners, Students, Academics
Main goal of the project: We aim to make marked improvements in the outcomes of looked after children in all of our work, and our approach is no different for care leavers. Our throughcare and aftercare work aims to increase understanding that leaving care is a life event for looked after young people, not just a bureaucratic exercise. We're working with multi-agency partners to design effective systems which reflect the milestone that is leaving care and which provide ongoing support for care leavers for as long as they need it.
Short summary: In Scotland, the average age for leaving care is 17 years old, but the average age for leaving home is 26. We believe that too many care leavers are expected to be able to cope, whether or not they're ready for the 'outside world', simply because they have reached an age where it is expected they will move on. We know that care leavers make smoother transitions into independent living when they have been settled in secure, stable care for as long as they need it. And when they are properly supported as they prepare to take those big steps forward into adult life.
Our throughcare and aftercare work aims to increase understanding that leaving care is a life event for looked after young people, not just a bureaucratic exercise. We believe that services and systems need to be designed and implemented which reflect the milestone that is leaving care. To achieve this end, our Throughcare and aftercare team is encouraging and championing the development of a new norm for care leavers. We work across the country to support all corporate parents to create and implement strategies, policies and practices which provide long-term positive placements and extended support for care leavers.
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 will contribute greatly to achieving this new norm, and will actively help close the gap between care leavers and their peers. To back up the legislative objectives of the Act, The Throughcare and aftercare team works on the ground alongside the carers, agencies and practitioners who deliver services for care leavers, and care leavers themselves to share their experience. We work with them to share good practice. We provide training and learning about the benefits of extended care and consistent relationships. And we support our partners to successfully implement these long-term positive placements as part of our vision for this new norm.
Useful links (video’s, websites etc.): https://www.celcis.org/our-work/key-areas/throughcare-and-aftercare/
Contact: Kenny McGhee, CELCIS, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, firstname.lastname@example.org