The help and support for young people leaving care in Wolverhampton has been praised by the National Implementation Advisor for Care leavers – and the city’s care leavers themselves.

The City of Wolverhampton Council's Reach Leaving Care Team provides a wide range of services and opportunities to help improve the life chances of young people aged 16 and over who are, or have, left care.

And the 2023 annual survey of care leavers, which will be presented to the council’s Corporate Parenting Board on Thursday (11 January, 2024) found that they rated the Reach Leaving Care Team 8.65 out of 10 on average, showing the vast majority are happy with the support provided.

Every care leaver who responded said they had a good relationship with their Young Persons Advisor, while 99% reported that they felt supported with their health and wellbeing, an increase of 5% year on year.

96% of young people stated they felt supported to live independently in the future, while the same proportion were getting the right support around money management and finances, and were aware and accessed something from the care leaver Local Offer, an increase of 2% on the previous year.

Meanwhile, the support for care leavers has also been praised by Mark Riddell MBE, National Implementation Advisor for Care Leavers, following a recent visit to carry out a review of the Local Offer. 

He said: "I was very impressed by the leadership and management approach that was ambitious and aspirational, and I got a real sense of passion and commitment to have a better offer for care leavers across the whole service area.

"I also saw and heard many examples where the corporate approach, and in particular the team approach, stood out, with workers who were highly responsive to the needs of care leavers. The local authority is in a good position to get to being great for care leavers in that I could see some outstanding features."

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "This annual survey of care leavers is crucial to the overall effectiveness of the service, and I'd like to thank all the young people who took the time to complete it.

"Coupled with the very positive feedback from Mark Riddell MBE, we can see that 2023 was a year of growing successes for the Reach Leaving Care Team and for our care leavers.

“In particular, the continuation of the regular drop in service with education, employment and training, health and housing support advisors has been well received, while the encouraging feedback from the Local Offer review and Care Leavers Week highlighted the positive impact the team is having on the young people they work with."

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. It 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.