The City of Wolverhampton Council helped over 30 young people make the move out of care to independent living in the last year, despite the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – and they, as well as young people preparing to make that next step, took part in a wide range of activities through the week.
They included sports activities, movie night and go karting, as well life skills such as how to cook healthy and good value meals. Also available were workshops offering young people who are currently not in education or training the chance to meet employers and voluntary groups – with most of those attending now signed up to receive training, employment or to take part in voluntary work.
The end of the week saw care leavers and children enjoy a trip to Drayton Manor theme park organised by the Co-production and Youth Engagement Team, where they also took part in Total Respect training, encouraging young people to support each other and to respect others.
Ricky Lowther, one of those who took part, said: “Care Leavers Week was great and I had fun meeting new people and doing different activities. It was also good that staff were involved and able to interact with the young people.”
Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Care Leavers Week is such an important and enjoyable week for all the young people who have made the transition from being in care in Wolverhampton to starting their journey into independent living.
“The council works hard to ensure our care leavers are fully supported and celebrated through this important and exciting time to ensure that this first step into adulthood is the best it can be. It was nice to help our young people enjoy themselves during Care Leavers Week and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the council involved in organising the various activities.”
Samantha Grainger, Children’s Services Team Manager, added: “I am really proud of my team for all the support and encouragement they have offered to the young people during Care Leavers Week. Without this and all the support they have offered with transport we would not have had such good participation and positive outcomes”.
National Care Leavers Week seeks to highlight the needs of care leavers, and encouraging the agencies responsible for looking after them to work in a coordinated and effective way.
Wolverhampton's Local Offer for care leavers aged between 16 and 25 provides information about a wide range of services which could help young care leavers prepare for adult life. The Local Offer was developed in partnership with care leavers and includes details of support which they are entitled to by law, as well as additional services that the council has been able to secure with the help of partner organisations. For more information, please visit Wolverhampton Children in Care.