COVID-19 UPDATE: The Covid-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges to the services provided to care leavers on behalf of the Trust throughout 2020. Right Resolution have continued to provide support to all the young people on the project in Northamptonshire and Peterborough through face to face and virtual meetings within the relevant guidelines. They have also been in regular contact with the two local authorities. The Trust has also funded additional counselling services for young care leavers throughout 2020 to address the increasing need for mental health support.
Our Brighter Futures project work started in Autumn 2009 in Northamptonshire. Initially ten care leavers were supported each year to progress their further education, training or employment. Since that time our project work has extended its reach and scope in response to the needs of the young people, including offering intensive 1-2-1 support to young care leavers.
Many of these care leavers have completed NVQs or other qualifications and have found apprenticeships or employment and are making fantastic progress in their chosen careers. Each year a new group of young people are referred into the project and then supported in their progress towards further education, training or employment. Social workers often refer their most challenging cases to the Trust project for help.
Many young care leavers experience mental health issues and need more specialist mental health counselling services. The Trust now also funds bespoke counselling services for young care leavers in both areas.
Our innovative scheme for supporting care leavers is now in its 12th year in Northamptonshire, and for the last 4 years we have supported 15 care leavers each year.
Specialist counselling for young care leavers is provided in Northamptonshire by The Lowdown and Service Six.
In April 2013 the Brighter Futures project was extended to the Peterborough City Council area, after a successful pilot scheme. The Trust now supports 10 Care leavers in Peterborough each year towards further education, training and jobs.
The project team in Peterborough also works closely with Families First Peterborough, another Community Interest Company supporting young families in the area.
Specialist mental health counselling, is provided in Northamptonshire by Centre 33.
Over time it became clear that a more flexible approach was needed, as many young care leavers were not ready to act as mentors to others. Since then we have developed a number of different approaches, including group mentoring arrangements instead of individual matches and a Volunteering Support Scheme. Through this scheme, we are encouraging the young care leavers to volunteer in different ways so as to use their skills and experience to help others as well as progressing their own careers.