Care leavers are receiving greater support – with more on the way – councillors have heard.
Young people who have been in the care of the local authority are particularly vulnerable and Durham County Council has already introduced measures to improve their lives.
Now Cabinet has heard how that support is being developed, to meet the requirements of the Children and Social Work Bill, and ensure care leavers are provided with the skills and knowledge to enjoy independent and fulfilling lives.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, the council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “We already provide comprehensive assistance to care leavers, such as extensive help with education, employment and training via the Durham Works programme; and specialist mental health and substance abuse support.
“Our chief executive, Terry Collins, also continues to champion the needs of care leavers and meets with them on a regular basis.
“Now, as part of efforts to further improve, we are looking at a range of other measures including extending access to personal advisers who provide financial advice until care leavers are 25; and working with the Department for Work and Pensions to make it easier for young people to access the benefits they are entitled to, with the right support from the council – much as any good parent would provide – to encourage care leavers to take apprenticeships.”
An update on the work was presented at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet today (15 March).