Support for young people leaving care
‘Leaving care’ is when a young person (aged between 16 and 18) has previously been in care, but is no longer legally ‘looked after’ by the local authority’s children’s services.
The council must provide young people leaving care with support until they are aged 25. You can find out more about the council’s responsibilities towards care leavers on GOV.UK.
When young people leave care in South Gloucestershire, they are offered a package of support, including:
- Help finding somewhere to live
- Help managing their finances
- Support to continue their education
- Being involved in any decisions made about them
‘Bridges’ is a new app that has been entirely co-produced with care leavers. Young people supported by the council have had a big say into the way the app works, looks and functions.
There is a duty for all local authorities to publish information and advice for their care leavers as a ‘local offer’. Feedback from young people is they are very unlikely to engage with material on a corporate local authority website, and would prefer an app to access their local offer.
The benefits include that the app functions offline once installed, without the need for Wi-Fi, internet or any phone data. This will mean young people are still able to access information 24/7 no matter what their situation regarding their accommodation or phone contract. Syndicated information from other sources such as real-time apprenticeship vacancies from Gov.uk and the National Apprenticeship Service provides care leavers with instant access to apprenticeships in their region.
Secure messaging between the young person and the transition to independence team, social workers and personal advisors as well as one-to-one chats or group conversations will also be possible through the app, to be rollout at a slightly later date.
The Bridges app is available to download from Google and Apple.
Care Leavers Guide
The South Gloucestershire offer for Care Leavers has been brought together in our first guide of ongoing support. This guide provides an introduction to the service that you will receive from South Gloucestershire’s Transition to Independence Team when you leave care.
More information for those leaving care with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can be found on the preparing for adulthood webpages within our Local Offer.