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Step Ahead

Ensuring we get the best for people leaving care.

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Striking out into the world on your own for the first time is exciting and daunting for all of us. The opportunity to carve your own path and the newfound independence is a huge draw. On the other hand, learning to budget to keep on top of the bills, remembering to put a wash on in time so you have clean clothes for work or college on Monday morning, and managing to keep the fridge stocked, let alone keeping yourself healthy – it’s a huge learning curve for any young person. 

It’s even more difficult for those without supportive families to fall back on, or for those who can’t stay at home for other reasons. Those who have grown up, or spent time, in care don’t always have the luxury of a family home to return to if something goes wrong, or a parent to phone when they aren’t sure how to fix a problem. 

That’s where councils come in. 

As corporate parents to care leavers, it’s our job to make sure that these young people are ready for what’s next, know they’re supported as they take those first steps into independence, and to help them access the same opportunities as their peers have – without worrying that if they make a mistake, they won’t get another chance. 

We need to give them the practical, social and emotional support that any good parent gives their child. From help to find the right accommodation, to guiding them through job applications and interviews, to making sure they know where to turn if they’re having trouble. 

We also need to make sure we’re listening. If we can really hear what care leavers are telling us about their needs, dreams and ambitions, we can make sure we’re giving the right support to help them get there.

At our 2023 Annual Conference, LGA Chair Councillor Shaun Davies set out the LGA’s intentions to ensure that those leaving care are given the best start to their adult life.

To show this commitment, the Step Ahead campaign will work to improve direct support to care leavers, as well as improving the support provided to councils in supporting their care leavers.

Below you’ll find a collection of good practice case studies from councils across the country, downloadable assets that you can share on your own channels. This page will continue to be updated with the latest news and resources related to the campaign.

If you’d like to get involved in the Step Ahead campaign, we’d love to hear from you. Email [email protected] for more information.