Blog from Nicky Roche - Getting involved in ‘New Belongings’

I'm lucky enough to have just become a Trustee of the Foundation. I became involved in this area when I was the lead Home Office Director for Children and Families working with other Government Departments on shaping 'Every Child Matters', learning how risk factors could be counter-balanced by protective ones and how important 'attachment' is for everyone but particularly children growing up. Now, having the chance to work first hand with care leavers and their local authority 'parents' is a real privilege- from theory to the real thing!

I am now helping to plan the New Belongings project. Last year I worked with Local Authorities around the country on the London 2012 Games, which was an amazing coalition of the willing to do things to the highest possible standard, to be flexible, to think about the end result and not be bound by time honoured processes. I hope that same inspiration will be with us on this project.  

It has been a pleasure to meet so many care leavers who will be leading the work with Local Authorities. Hearing that some had over 50 placements whilst in care was quite a shock but so many also talked about the one or two people who had been there for them and the difference that had made. New Belongings is seeking to strengthen Local Authorities support by drawing on other statutory services more and on the wider community, including employers for example. We have some innovative working between clusters of Authorities in the same geographic area, after all few of us contain our lives area within government boundaries and we feel testing out the wider community networks will enhance what we are seeking to do.

Its early days for the project but the team is coming together nationally and at the local authority level. Watch this space for news of names and areas.

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