Break, a Norfolk children’s charity, are honoured to announce that we have just been awarded a Department for Education grant for £1.3 million to improve services for children leaving care in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
The grant comes from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Fund which aims to develop more effective ways of supporting vulnerable children, specifically those leaving Children’s Homes. The funding will pay for a pilot project in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to test out effective ways to support children leaving care over the next two and a half years.
Rachel Cowdry, Director of Business Development at Break says “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to work in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to support some of the most vulnerable young people in our counties. Break has already been supporting our own care leavers for five years through our Moving On Team. The Department for Education grant will enable us to develop this project to benefit many more vulnerable young people. We hope that this project will have positive repercussions for care leavers in our region and beyond”.
The need to support young people who have lived in care has been evident for many years. These young adults are much more likely, than their peers, to struggle in all aspects of their lives such as finding and sustaining work, physical and mental health, and building positive relationships. Sir Martin Narey, the former Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, conducted an independent review of children’s residential care in England, published in July 2016. This report stated the importance for the young people to “Stay Close” to their children’s home and the trusted relationships they had with the staff after they had to leave. The Break project will test out different ways to support these young people including “Staying Close” and will provide new training for staff working in residential care homes, more accommodation for care leavers with intensive support, including focusing on their emotional wellbeing, so that care leavers can acquire the skills and resilience they need to live independent, successful lives.
Robert Goodwill, Minister for Children and Families, said:
“Through the Innovation Programme, we continue to fund exciting and pioneering projects that look to shake-up our traditional approach to social care.
Together they proffer a broad and balanced portfolio which both test new innovations, and scale and spread those that have been successful in Round One of the programme.
I am delighted that we have supported these projects, and look forward to continuing to hear about their great work in the future.”
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