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.’
Keep Care Leavers Connected
A group of more than 35 charities and youth organisations have come together in an open letter to MPs, calling for extended provision of digital devices and internet access for care leavers to enable them to thrive when living independently for the first time, and to reduce the impact that digital poverty can have on their futures. Join us by signing our online petition.
- Go to all Young People and Families publications.
- Go to Young People and Families blogs and news to find Catch22’s updates on sector relevant news and policy.
- Find out more about the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum (NLCBF)
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