A national adviser for care leavers has praised the work of Cheshire East Council for their work in supporting young people leaving care for the second time.
Mark Riddell MBE, a national implementation adviser for care leavers, made a follow-up visit in October, after a two-day formal visit earlier this year. He praised the further progress the council has made regarding care leavers since his visit in January.
He found that:
● The progress made regarding the new corporate parenting duties that came into force on April 1 was rapid and supported the offer made to care leavers;
● Elected members have embraced a ‘championing’ approach, which in essence, enabled elected members to get into the detail of the offer to care leavers;
● Care leavers now have an offer from health up to the age of 25 that is based on a needs-led approach;
● There are closer working relationships with the key partner agencies – the Department of Work and Pensions, Family Nurse Partnership and Mentors for care leavers; and
● The housing offers and opportunities for care leavers as a result of the Ignition Panel are good and data relating to employment, education and training has improved.
Since Mark’s revisit, the council’s ‘ignition panel’ has been shortlisted for a national award. The ignition panel provides young people with a sense of ownership about their future plans regarding where they live now and where they’re going to live in the future.
The Local Government Chronicle award recognises the success of councils that adopt a strategic approach to meeting the needs of children and young people who need help and protection, including providing early intervention. The ignition panel has been shortlisted in the public/private partnerships category.
Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “This follow up report is extremely positive and demonstrates what great work we do. The people working within our service for cared for children and care leavers are incredibly dedicated and work hard to provide the best possible support.”