Less than 1% of children are in care1, yet almost a quarter of the adult prison population2 and almost half of young men under 21-years-old3 in the criminal justice system have spent time in care. 25% of homeless people have been in care3 and only 6% of care leavers move into higher education4.
Through many of our services, we touch the lives of those whom have been in care and we tailor our support for looked after children and care leavers, offering practical and sustainable ways to improve their life chances.
Looked after children in our alternative education provision are supported with individual plans, with schools offering strategies and a designated member of staff to support them. Our leaving care services support the transition to independence to ensure care leavers have the same opportunities as other young people and to prevent the negative impact caused by a lack of suitable housing, employment or emotional support. Extended support includes our employment and apprenticeships work, whilst our justice provision supports those who become involved in gangs towards positive lifestyle choices and behaviours.
Catch22 runs the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum (NLCBF), the largest membership forum specialising in leaving care in the UK, with an active membership of over 100 local authorities in England and Northern Ireland. The forum shares best practice and promotes the voice of care leavers through the Young People’s Benchmarking Forum.
‘The NLCBF plays a key role in promoting sector-led improvement of leaving care support services.’
Robert MacPherson, Children in Care, Department for Education
Reducing admissions into care
We offer intensive, short-term support to families in crisis, de-escalating crisis situations, liaising across services and delivering appropriate levels of monitoring and intervention to ensure children and young people are safeguarded. This intensive support in emergency situations helps to prevent, where appropriate, admission into care.
Extended offer to care leavers
Our diverse national network of services means that we are able to support looked after children and care leavers in a variety of settings, including:
- alternative education provision
- support for children who go missing and/or experience sexual exploitation
- skills development programmes such as the National Citizen Service
- housing support and a peer landlord scheme
- apprenticeships and employability services
- engagement within prison or youth offenders institutes.
Our supported and supportive accommodation services for care leavers help them to secure tenancies and address issues preventing them from living independently. As well as receiving practical housing and budgeting support, they are enabled to feel safe, secure, valued in their community and confident in their ability to manage the practicalities of life.
Wraparound therapeutic support
We piloted a new approach to supporting children and young people at risk of or experiencing child sexual exploitation across South Yorkshire. The Empower and Protect programme recruited and trained specialist foster carers who are given wraparound therapeutic support by our team of psychologists and youth workers. We also embedded wider system change by bringing mental health disciplines into the social care context. Given the success of the pilot, this is now run by councils across South Yorkshire.
‘My Catch22 worker gave me support to help me move. I feel more comfortable now and it’s good to have the same person to talk to…My adviser is a lifeline.’
Southwark Care Leaver’s Partnership
We have been working in partnership with Southwark Council and young people since May 2017, with the aim of designing and testing new ways of working to support the borough’s care leavers.
Read more about our partnership with Southwark Council to design and test a new model of support for care leavers here.
- Download our two-page overview of our services for looked after children and care leavers
- Find out more about the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum (NLCBF)
- Read our two-page overview of our Young People and Families work
Contact us if you have an enquiry about Catch22’s looked after children and care leavers services and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please note that we are unable to provide emergency support or urgent responses through this enquiry form, or answer general enquiries about care or leaving care. The following organisations may be able to help you:
- Coram Voice
- Coram Children’s Legal Centre
- The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)
- Shelter Housing Advice
How we manage your data
We manage the data you provide in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- The Data Controller (the organisation that determines how your data is managed) is Catch22. Contact us if you have a query about how your data is managed.
- The Data Processor (the organisation that does data processing on behalf of Catch22) is The Bureau.
- We are committed to giving you (the Data Subject in legal terms) an easy way to exercise your eight rights under the GDPR.
- We process your data for the purpose of receiving your message and responding to it under the lawful basis of consent, which you give by submitting the form above. You have the right to withdraw consent for us to contact you at any time and the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, which in the United Kingdom is the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- We retain your data for as long as you allow us to do so. You can exercise your right to erasure at any time.
1 Care – a stepping stone to custody?, Prison Reform Trust (2011)
2 Prisoners’ childhood and family backgrounds, Ministry of Justice (March 2012)
3 Care leavers’ transition to adulthood, National Audit Office (July 2015)
4 Care leavers’ transition to adulthood, Fifth Report of Session 2015–16, House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (October 2015)