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Bournemouth council’s promise to support young care leavers
YOUNG care leavers in Bournemouth are celebrating the launch of a new charter to support those who leave the council’s care to start living independently.
The Stepping Stones charter was launched at an event at Bournemouth town hall last Thursday to coincide with National Care Leavers Week. Designed by young members of CLICK who are part of the Bournemouth Children in Care Council, the charter outlines Bournemouth Council’s promise to help support young people. Care leaver Hannah Park, 20, who helped create Stepping Stones said: “For years I couldn’t wait to turn 18 because I had been in care since I was a baby, but when the day came it was like a shattered dream and I found the transition difficult because of loneliness.
“Stepping Stones puts in place some extra support because the previous charter was too vague and not heartfelt.” The Stepping Stones charter provides support and information on issues from care leavers rights and accommodation to finance and education.
Urban Life workshops in life skills, regular contact with a Pathways worker and guidance through financial and healthcare needs are included in the charter.
The setting up home grant has also been increased to £2,000 so young care leavers moving into their own home can buy essentials.
Looked After Children Participation Worker, Lisa Male said: “We want to give care leavers the necessary knowledge which they can use and then make informed decisions for themselves.”
Kim Drake, Service Director for Children’s Social Care, said: “It is a daunting prospect for young people facing independence and so it’s fantastic that our young care leavers have been closely involved in ensuring that the service and the Stepping Stones Charter is tailored to meet their needs.”
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