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Blog from Sally Ellis, Service Development Officer, Staffordshire County Council


Today (Tuesday 5 November 2013) is the start of an exciting journey for Staffordshire County Council and its partners, as we begin to look at how we can together improve the guidance and support young people receive when they become ready to leave our care. Later today Staffordshire County Council will launch its New Belongings Project, which seeks to re-address the support provided to our care leavers.

Together, all Staffordshire County Council employees have a responsibility to help towards improving the lives and futures of the children and young people the authority looks after. It is everyone’s job to do what we can for looked after children, young people and care leavers, just as we would for our own children and family. We call this our 'corporate parent' responsibility. Here in Staffordshire we take these responsibilities seriously using the benchmark of “would this be good enough for our own children”?

It is quite a challenging time for our care leavers; however, many of our young people do survive and succeed. Through the New Belongings project we will be able to learn from these successes and refocus what we do in the areas that matter, to ensure our young people get the best start in life.

In Staffordshire we already have so much to be proud of but we must do more and that’s why we will be looking to improve young people’s accommodation, improve opportunities to learn practical independence skills and encourage more of our care leavers to go onto university.  We will continue to build on the outstanding Families First Foundations 2 Employment project, which provides a young person with a supported work experience placement. And we will continue to improve the information available to our young people building on the success of the recently launched care leavers information pack Any Other Business.

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