Enhancing support for young people
Thursday, 20 December 2012
As part of its commitment to improving outcomes for vulnerable young people Hampshire County Council is increasing its support to young people leaving care.
At his recent decision day Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire County Council's Executive Lead member for Children's Services approved enhancements to the support already available to young people leaving the care of the local authority.
Cllr Perry said: "Like all good parents I am keen to see that young people in our care feel able to strive to achieve goals and ambitions. I met with two of our care leavers recently and was most impressed by their determination to achieve their goals. One is completing his final year at university and the other has a job in the County Council's Trading Standards department following her successful completion of the Council's Internship Plus scheme. They told me that one of the most important things for them is being treated like any other young person.
"I want to ensure our care leavers have the same opportunities as any other young people and so want to remove any possible barriers which may prevent them accessing education, training or employment as they become young adults and move to independent living.
"The County Council already has a range of measures which help young people leaving care. These include apprenticeships and Internships which provide them with vital work experience, financial support to help them go to university and assistance to remain in supported lodgings or foster care while they are at university, as well as financial support to help them live independently.
"The enhancements I have agreed will build on this support and represent sound investment in these young people and their futures."
- The enhanced support which Councillor Perry approved includes:
- The extension of the Staying Put scheme to include young people leaving care aged 18-19 and in employment or seeking employment and to enable them to remain in supported lodgings or with foster carers. Previously this was only available to those in education or training.
- Paying travel costs to care leavers aged 18-19 who are employed for up to six months and for those who are unemployed but seeking employment for up to three months so they are incentivised to be in work.
Increasing the Setting Up Home allowance from up to £1,000 to up to £2,000 depending on an individual's needs.
In addition to the above assistance financial support is currently available for those attending university either as undergraduates or post-graduates.
This year the Full Council agreed a proposal from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, to make permanent its pilot initiative offering young care leavers internships. This provides opportunities for paid work placements within the County Council as well as opportunities to access relevant qualifications. Fifteen young people are currently taking part in the scheme.