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National Care Leavers Week celebrations for Wakefield District Young People

The achievements of young people with experiences of living in care are being celebrated as part of the national Care Leavers Week that starts today.

Events and activities will take place throughout the week.

On Wednesday 26th October, young people leaving care in the Wakefield district will take centre stage at the Walker Studio, Theatre Royal. There will be a ceremony to award them a certificate that recognises their hard work in a number of areas including overcoming adversity, making positive changes, and their employment and educational success.

Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People will be in attendance along with the new Corporate Director for Children and Young People, Vicky Schofield.

Four young people with experience of being in care will also be challenging stereotypes of children in care and looking to improve and build relationships with Wakefield Council by providing training to their children’s services staff.

Local delegates, from the Children In Care Council (CICC), will attend the ‘Amplify’ A National Voice’ event on 25 October, that brings together CICC’s from across the country. It’s an opportunity for them to take part in a national consultation on living in care and share experiences.     

The theme of the week, that runs until 28 October, is #EndTheCareCliff and its aim is to encourage discussions around how to improve young people’s experiences of moving out of the care system and into an independent life. It will also focus on what needs to change to make the system better.

In Wakefield, plans are underway to create more intensive accommodation and support services for young people aged 16 and over. To prepare them for an independent life, care leavers will move into ‘trainer’ flats where they will learn how to be ‘tenancy ready’ and benefit from intensive support, in response to their assessed needs. 

The help, advice, and support services available to care experienced young people as they enter a more independent stage of life will be highlighted throughout the week, interspersed with fun activities for the young people, including:

  • Fun pumpkin carving sessions
  • Games afternoon
  • Movie night
  • Pamper session
  • Visit to Scaregrounds

Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Our young care leavers are remarkable, and we want to show the positive contributions they make to our communities.

“Helping all young people to thrive and grow, develop their talents, and achieve their ambitions is a key commitment for Wakefield Council.

“Young adults who are ready to leave care and transition into becoming adults need our support, as they don’t have the traditional family structures to rely on. We are working with them to ensure they have the support they need.”

The Next Steps Leaving Care Service provides support for care leavers, aged 16 to 25, through a dedicated team, plus Facebook page, Next Steps Leaving Care – Wakefield, and website offering advice and help. It also runs a variety of events for young people to participate in throughout the year.

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