New projects have launched to improve the education and training of young people leaving care, helping them make the transition into independent life.

Care leavers will benefit from a £5 million investment in programmes that deliver specialist, bespoke support through personal advisers and transition coaches. The pilot schemes are designed to develop care leavers’ confidence, communications and skills needed to enter sustained education, employment and training.

The £5 million is being used to fund the first ever Social Impact Bonds aimed at preventing care leavers being out of work and training – which have previously been used to tackle problems including homelessness and long-term health issues.

The news comes as the latest data on care leavers aged 19-21 show that 39 per cent of care leavers are NEET, compared to 13 per cent of 19-21 year olds in the general population.

The Social Impact Bonds bring together the public, private and voluntary sectors to solve these challenges, with care leavers in the three regions being offered:

  • Sheffield: Specialist support will be provided through transition coaches working alongside Personal Advisers. The support package will involve support with speech, language and communication needs.
  • Bristol: The programme to help 200 care leavers will test a new approach using Acceptance & Commitment Theory (ACT) to develop care leavers’ values, aspirations and motivation to succeed. A new team of EET workers will build relationships with care leavers, employers and training providers.
  • Lewisham: The project will produce a local employment toolkit, develop the Young Minds resilience framework and deliver financial resilience training through The Money House and resolution training.

Social Impact Bonds work through funding from social investors who pay for the delivery of the services throughout the project, and are then paid a return based upon the results. Those investing in these programmes will be paid depending on the number of care leavers that achieve employment, education or training outcomes over a four year period.