To mark the beginning of National Care Leavers' Week, the LGA sent an open letter to small businesses encouraging them to sign up to the Care Leaver Covenant.
As National Care Leavers Week gets under way today, the Local Government Association is urging all our member councils and small businesses to sign up to the Care Leaver Covenant – a national inclusion programme that supports care leavers aged 16-25 to live independently.
This could mean guaranteed interviews for care leavers who meet minimum criteria, offering work experience, apprenticeships or training courses, or providing care leavers with free or discounted goods and services.
We are calling on small businesses to join us in providing care leavers with opportunities to broaden their horizons, widen their employment prospects and inspire their personal interests.
By signing the covenant, small businesses can help transform young people’s lives and make a lasting positive difference by helping care leavers get the very best start in life after care.
More than 11,000 young people become care leavers each year, and while councils provide a wide range of support, the more that our communities can wrap around our young people and help them as they move into adulthood, the more opportunities they will have to thrive.
Helping care leavers into work will be key to achieving this ambition, and I’m sure we can count on small businesses to step up and play their part as well.
Councils are also seeing an increasing proportion of care leavers who were formerly unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. We are calling on the Government in the Autumn Statement to fully fund placements and support for unaccompanied children and care leavers.
Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association