“Care leavers are an amazing group of young people,” says Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, cabinet member for a fairer start in a video (above) marking National Care Leavers Week (25-31 October).
The week is a mixture of celebration of care experienced by young people, and raising awareness of the needs of this group, including issues faced in gaining employment opportunities, housing and finances.
Incredible young people
Councillor Nagpal comments: “Our Care Leavers are an incredible group of young people who inspire all those that know them on a daily basis! We have young people studying to be pilots, business, engineers, social workers, accountants, youth workers, teachers, artists and lawyers through to dancers, actors, photographers, poets and bloggers.
“We have young people campaigning for the rights of care leavers, co-chairing Corporate Parent Panels and chairing Equalities Monitoring Groups in the leaving care service.
“We also have fantastic parents, carers, mechanics, retailers, drivers, health, beauty and fitness workers and all of them, as well as our care leavers, deserve to be valued, heard and celebrated.”
This year the council is marking the week in a variety of ways.
A group of young people had the opportunity to talk to the government advisor for care leavers, Mark Riddell MBE, about their experiences of corporate parenting in Ealing.
We are launching our care leavers accommodation and housing survey to hear young people’s views on their placements and housing options, and we are also holding a working group to discuss the draft joint housing protocol.
“Corporate parenting is something we take very seriously,” said Councillor Nagpal. “So this week we are also re-opening our Horizons Centre post COVID restrictions, allowing those who need or want to use the council’s aftercare service the opportunity to do so.
“We are also finishing the week on a high, with a trip to a West End musical.”
Over the coming months, the council will be working closely with young people and partners to strengthen the local offer and will be carrying out a corporate parenting review with partner agencies and council departments.