More young care leavers will receive additional crucial support when moving on from children's homes in Wolverhampton after the city joined the national Staying Close programme.

Staying Close provides a package of support and guidance to young people leaving care, including ensuring they have accommodation, resources, and practical and emotional help provided by a member of staff from their former children’s home, to help them thrive as independent adults.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is one of 47 local authorities selected by the Government to run the Staying Close programme, with each area having its own bespoke delivery model. 

In Wolverhampton, young people leaving care will enjoy a range of benefits, including an enhanced life skills offer to help them develop the skills they need to live independently, support from an Education, Employment and Training advisor, access to a care leaver nurse, and 5 hours a week tailored support once they are independent.

Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "As a good corporate parent, we are responsible for providing the best possible care, safeguarding and educational outcomes for the children and young people that we care for, from birth through to adulthood.

"This is particularly important at the point when they are ready to make the transition from living in a children's home to living independently, and the more help and support we are able to give them at this time the better.

"We are delighted to be part of the Staying Close programme which will help deliver stable accommodation for our young people, bring about positive changes in their mental and physical health, improve their education, employment and training prospects, help develop their relationships and their cooking, budgeting, time management and practical skills."

Staying Close was piloted in 2017-18, with the MacAlister Independent Review of Children’s Social Care (England) recommending in 2022 that the Government make it a national statutory offer. 

This week is National Care Leavers’ Week. Running until Wednesday 1 November, it is calling on the public, professionals, carers, decision-makers and the media to CARE – Celebrate care leavers, Amplify their voices, Raise awareness of challenges and Encourage change in policy and practice.