National Care Leavers Week

To mark National Care Leaver’s Week, I met with Mary Campbell-Wharan from Pure Insight, the Stockport charity, formed in January this year, which supports young people leaving care. I wanted to emphasise my support for the projects they are running to improve the lives of young people.These projects include, offering practical help with budgeting, training, health and relationships. Insight is currently rolling out a new mentoring scheme, matching appropriate adult volunteers with young people who have left or are about to leave care. Pure Insight should be proud of their work, which is helping young people in care live up to their potential. These young people need ongoing support to get into jobs and training, and they need support from adults they can rely on. This is essential if these young people are to overcome some of the real difficulties they face before they leave care, and go on to make a success of their adult lives. I am also supporting the “Staying Put” amendment to the government’s Children and Families Bill, which would enable children in care to remain with their foster parents until the age of 21 instead of having to leave home as soon as they reach 18. Introducing this amendment in a debate in the House of Commons in June, I said: “What differnece have we made as corporate parents if children in our care end up on the streets, in jail or with disabling mental health problems? We should let them stay with their foster carers for those important extra three years”.

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