Our vision is to ensure children, young people and families reach their full potential and shape their own futures in a safe and creative environment

Launch of Staying Close, Staying Connected

Innovative support for young care leavers

Break has launched the Staying Close, Staying Connected project at the Charles Burrell Centre on Friday 24 November.

 

A grant of 1.3 million has been awarded to Break from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Fund which aims to develop more effective ways of supporting vulnerable children, specifically those leaving Children’s Homes.  The funding will pay for a pilot project in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to test out effective ways to support children leaving care over the next two and a half years.

 

Staying Close, Staying Connected is a partnership between Break, Norfolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. The aim is to change the way young care leavers are supported, by putting a framework around them as they leave residential care that will dramatically transform their outcomes.

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Edward Wong, Norfolk CC, Rachel Cowdry, Break Director of Business Development and Sarah-Jane Smedmor, Cambridgeshire County Council

 

The project will focus on young people from Cambridgeshire and Norfolk but it is hoped that it will become nationally recognised as best practice in residential care leaver support.

 

Over 60 people attended the launch including guests from both county council’s, business leaders, social housing and the police with many agencies pledging to support the initiative. Included in the presentations was a speech from Jarone Macklin-Page, aged 29, a Break care leaver who still receives support from the Break Moving On Team.

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 Speaker Jarone Macklin-Page

 

Robert Goodwill, the Children’s Minister, has pledged that the Staying Close scheme will mean “care leavers will no longer have to face life’s milestones alone – be it applying for university, getting a job or finding their first home”. In essence it should mirror how a parent might support a young person leaving home, being agile and flexible around what they need and when.

 

Rachel Cowdry, Director of Business Development at Break says “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to work in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to support some of the most vulnerable young people in our counties.  Break has already been supporting our own care leavers for five years through our Moving On Team.  The Department for Education grant will enable us to develop this project to benefit many more vulnerable young people.  We hope that this project will have positive repercussions for care leavers in our region and beyond”.

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The need to support young people who have lived in care has been evident for many years. These young adults are much more likely, than their peers, to struggle in all aspects of their lives such as finding and sustaining work, physical and mental health, and building positive relationships.  Sir Martin Narey, the former Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, conducted an independent review of children’s residential care in England, published in July 2016.  This report stated the importance for the young people to “Stay Close” to their children’s home and the trusted relationships they had with the staff after they had to leave. 

 

The Break project will test out different ways to support these young people including “Staying Close” and will provide new training for staff working in residential care homes, more accommodation for care leavers with intensive support, including focusing on their emotional wellbeing, so that care leavers can acquire the skills and resilience they need to live independent, successful lives.

 

For more information on the Staying Close, Staying Connected project, please click here.

To pledge support, please contact Rachel Leslie Project Implementation Manager, rachel.leslie@break-charity.org 01603 670100.

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young care leavers supported by our Moving on Team

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