Council commits to adopting a care experienced young adult leavers covenant

At Thurday night’s full council meeting, councillors passed a motion agreeing to investigate the creation of a council covenant to support care leavers for whom the council, as a whole, has responsibility. In Central Bedfordshire, there are around 280 care experienced young adults aged 16 to 24.

The Council wants the very best for our care leavers who are a uniquely vulnerable group and, who face specific challenges as they enter adult life and as their corporate parents, the council wants to work in a coordinated and effective way to give them the additional help they need.

The move from being a looked after child to a young person leaving care is a uniquely critical time in a young person’s life and the council wants to make sure that they have all the support available to them that many of us take for granted.

Cllr. Sue Clark, Executive Member for Families, Education & Children said, “For young people who have grown up in the care system, leaving care and taking their first steps into adulthood can be a particularly challenging time especially for some young people who will remain entirely dependent on the council and look to them to fulfil that parent role.”

“As corporate parents to our care experienced young adults we have the same aspirations as we would for our own children and we will look to develop a covenant so that we can help them to achieve the very best in life by developing a package of support options that will go above and beyond our statutory duties.”

Central Bedfordshire Council has a good offer to care leavers which includes:

  • specialist social workers, personal advisors and other targeted support to all care leavers up to 25 years of age.
  • suitable accommodation - many care leavers have their own council tenancy in Central Bedfordshire.
  • a payment of £2,000 setting up home allowance (leaving care grant) when moving into their permanent / settled accommodation.
  • bursaries to cover education costs.
  • will pay Council Tax on their behalf as part of their bespoke package of support based on assessed needs.
 The council will now commence on developing a favoured approach covenant by engaging with members, businesses and partners to strengthen and widen our existing already good provision to support our care leavers and help them into independence.