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Promise to Care: How Businesses Can Support Local Care Leavers

18 Sep 2019

Leicestershire Cares is launching a new local charter that businesses in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be able to sign to say that they are committed to supporting looked after children and care leavers into employment.

The aim of the Promise is to provide care experienced young people with access to the support and opportunities they need to progress in education, employment and their wider lives. The promise will be simple, flexible and tailored to what businesses can offer care experienced people. This might involve work experience, work tours or volunteering opportunities, or could be as simple as providing discounts on their services or contributing or donating items to group sessions.

Nationally, there is a big push for businesses and organisations to support this group of young people. The new Care Leaver Covenant aims to get businesses to commit to supporting these young people. However, it is yet to reach local companies who we think could make a big difference to young people’s lives.

In Leicester and Leicestershire, there are around 1,200 young people who have experience of the care system. For a wide range of reasons, this group of young people are one of the most excluded and disadvantaged in our society.

They are:

  • three times more likely to be Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET) as their peers
  • three times less likely to get five good GCSEs at age 16
  • 10 times more likely to have a special educational need
  • and only 1 in 14 go to university, compared to half of all young people

We know many businesses care passionately about strengthening the community and supporting young people. We are asking all businesses to consider how they might offer support and encouragement to young people who are in or have left the care system. It could be a work placement, a work tour or even a friendly chat and help filling in an application. Care experienced young people are “our” young people, and what really matters is we show them that we care and are there to support them.

Kieran Breen, Chief Executive of Leicestershire Cares

Once the Promise has been signed by a business, Leicestershire Cares will provide information, advice and training on how best to support care experienced young people in the workplace and can also help businesses find care experienced people to employ.

Local authorities are the corporate parents to care experienced young people, however, all of us, whether an authority, business, education, voluntary or community organisation, have a responsibility to help this invisible minority succeed and thrive in the workplace and in their wider lives. #TogetherWeCan.

The Promise to Care launch takes place on Thursday 31 October 2019, 8.30am to 10.30am at Leicester City Football Club, King Power Stadium, and is part of the Leicester Business Festival.

Book you place at the Promise to Care launch

For more information about the Promise to Care, please contact Jacob at jacob@leicestershirecares.co.uk