National Care Leavers’ Week 2020 is taking place from 26 October – 1 November 2020.
National Care Leaver’s Week is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the successes of care leavers from across the UK, and to inspire them to achieve their full potential. It’s also an opportunity to challenge negative perceptions and change the narrative of the care system.
There are approximately 99,000 children in care in the UK, and each year over 10,000 young people leave the care system and become care leavers. National Care Leaver’s Week is a necessary time to recognise that leaving care can be difficult. Unlike most young people who can rely on the love and support of their family long after their teens, care leavers are expected to be independent once they turn 18. They can find managing their first experience of independence and living alone challenging and isolating.
Our focus for this year’s National Care Leaver’s Week is care leavers with careers. We want to find out what aspirations care leavers have for their future and what jobs they want to pursue. We’ll be sharing first-hand experiences of care leavers who have taken a variety of different career paths throughout the week, to inspire others and show what’s possible.
IMO: real-life stories from care leavers
If you’re care experienced, IMO (“in my opinion”) is for you. We share first-hand stories and experiences from young people with care experience, we host an award-nominated podcast that chats to care leavers from all walks of life, and we create collaborative campaigns with care leavers to change the narrative of the care system.
Help at Hand: free support for care leavers
If you’re in care, leaving care, living away from home or working with social services, Help at Hand can offer you free support, advice and information. Help at Hand is an advice service for children in care and care leavers run by the Children’s Commissioner for England. It exists to help you tackle any challenges you might be facing.