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Funding grant will support care leavers’ transitions

St Christopher’s is delighted to receive a £163,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to fund a three year co-production project to prepare and support young people for their move from care to independent living.

With the funding St Christopher’s will work alongside young people from their UK residential children’s homes and foster homes to co-produce a programme of support to prepare them for leaving care.

The project aims to:

  • Support care leavers to transition more successfully into independent living
  • Produce transition support programmes that become more responsive to individual needs
  • Share best practice in supporting successful transitions across St Christopher’s and the sector

Young people in care often leave home much earlier than their peers and can have less on-going support, so this transition is really important. In practical terms this could mean sustaining their tenancies, maintaining education or employment opportunities, and feeling hopeful about the future – but we aspire to more for our care leavers. We want them to feel confident living independently, able to cope with loneliness, be resilient and draw on positive relationships and memories during tough times.

To make sure the project is what young people want, we have listened to what they said about independence. They have co-produced and delivered training to staff to tell us what matters when making this transition, so this project will incorporate their feedback from the start. St Christopher’s is committed to participation, children’s rights and supporting young people through transitions, and believe a co-produced project with young people at the helm will best suit their needs.

The project will sit alongside opportunities for young people to experience what life will be like once they leave care, such as by having overnights and weekend stays in a more independent setting. Once the programme has been developed it will be used more widely to support young people to feel prepared for their transition.

We are hugely grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for supporting this work. The funding will enable us to build on and share the fantastic transition support going on across St Christopher's and ensure more children and young people are properly prepared, confident and secure when they leave care. For us the project will be a success if the young people feel it makes a difference to their lives.
Geneva Ellis, Director of Corporate Services