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Wiltshire Council pledges to build on support for young people ahead of Care Leavers' Week

Council leaders have pledged to support young people leaving care in Wiltshire by building on the good work already ongoing.

Published 23 October 2023

The council aims to put policies and programmes in place to help provide better futures for care experienced young people and adults.

Ahead of national Care Leavers Week, Wiltshire Councillors have agreed to sign up to the national Care Leavers' Covenant and explore defining care experienced young people as a protected characteristic.

Wiltshire Council already has a care leaver promise, which sets out support including financial, accommodation and practical help including for driving lessons and gym membership to help with mental health. At the meeting this week, council leaders, working with young people, vowed to take it a step further.

Wiltshire Council used the full council meeting to sign up to the Care Leavers Covenant, which is a promise made by the private, public or voluntary organisations to provide support for care experienced young people aged 16-25 to help them live independently and move on to the next stage of their lives.

The council also agreed a Corporate Parenting Strategy up to October 2026 setting out five aims to ensure care leavers can:

  • feel safe and happy in a stable home and in their community
  • be the best they can be to achieve personally and educationally and be supported with training and employment opportunities
  • ensure physical and emotional wellbeing is supported
  • positive relationships with people who are important to them and to be part of the local community where they are respected, accepted and feel included
  • for their voice to be heard and for it to matter and influence decision making

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: As we mark Care Leavers Week I want to recognise our own care experienced young people in Wiltshire. Our young people have had to deal with setbacks and challenges.

We take our responsibility as a corporate parent very seriously and we know how important it is to listen to those who have been in care and discuss with them how we can provide the support and help they need to reach their goals, to enjoy the future and to just be a young person - something many of us take for granted.

The Care Leaver Promise was built on young people's feedback and as we take on that next level of commitment we want to continue listening and acting on our young people's feedback so their thoughts and opinions are fully reflected in our work. We have agreed our new approach as the corporate parent for children in care and those leaving care. We still have plenty to learn but more than anything we want our young people to know a young person's circumstances doesn't have to dictate their path and they have the right to reach to reach for the stars and achieve their goals.

Videos - Care Leavers' Week

Cllr Laura Mayes - https://youtu.be/Y48P_BjxE1M (opens new window)
Tracie - https://youtu.be/dKKg39_2z7E (opens new window)
Cam - https://youtu.be/K84ictuegMY (opens new window)
Josh - https://youtu.be/eFRrF9J5XYs (opens new window)
Leo -  https://youtu.be/-FngGlDLUO (opens new window)

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