Local authorities are now required by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 to develop a local offer for care leavers in partnership with their young people. The local offer should provide information about all the services and support that is available to care leavers from the Local Authority. It should cover:
- statutory entitlements, and
- any other discretionary support that a Local Authority chooses to provide.
Government guidance states it should include six main areas: health and well-being; relationships; education and training; employment; accommodation and participation in society. Since the new duty, National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum (NLCBF) members have each been busy developing their own care leaver local offer. Each Local Authority will have chosen to prioritise different types of non-statutory support, so every local offer will be unique.
National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum members were keen to benchmark and understand more about the additional support that was offered to care leavers. However, there was no easy way to compare and contrast the content of different local offers.
The National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum ‘Local Offer’ project was designed to understand more about the development and content of members’ local offers. Through this project we want to help members, and others, understand what components are commonly included in local offers, as well as highlighting less common areas of additional support. In doing so we hope to inspire Local Authorities to review their offers and assess what more they could do for their care leavers based on ideas and learning from other Local Authorities.
- To understand more about what worked in developing the local offer
- To create a central place that maps what additional support is on offer to care leavers in different local authorities
- To describe examples of additional support
- To help NLCBF members review and improve their local offers
You can also find a full write-up of the project findings from which our key messages have been based in the Thematic Report.