BY MADELEINE WEAVER – SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS & POLICY OFFICER
Under our Roof is Leap’s programme supporting young people in care and the adults around them to better navigate conflict and to build and maintain safe, supportive and stable relationships.
After two years of delivering, we have learnt that:
Consistent, supportive relationships are key to young people transitioning successfully into adulthood.
When working with young people it is important to focus on their individual needs, but also to take care of their support system, providing love, care and attention to the adults around them.
With improved wellbeing and greater confidence in navigating conflict, carers have been able to improve their communication and build better relationships with the young people in their care. This in turn helped to create more stable relationships.
On 24 November 2020, the Children’s Commissioner delivered a speech in which she exposed the failings of the current social care system. Ahead of an upcoming national care review, Anne Longfield listed the different ways that the system must change in order to better support and protect young people.
The young people strongly agree with the Children’s Commissioner when she says that the current system needs to be reformed. They feel that their voices are not being heard, and that their needs are not being prioritised.
During our Virtual House Party event on 10 December 2020, one young woman and care leaver shared her experiences of the care system, and the change that she wants to see:
“MY OWN EXPERIENCES OF THE CARE SYSTEM WERE NOT ALWAYS POSITIVE. I KNOW THAT THE HELP IS NOT ALWAYS THERE FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT – IT IS EASY TO FALL THROUGH THE GAPS. I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE HAS THEIR VOICES HEARD AND GETS THE SUPPORT THAT THEY NEED TO BE HAPPY.”
Leap is committed to supporting young people to have their voices heard and to building positive, supportive and lasting relationships. To do this it is vital that we take a holistic approach. We plan to submit evidence to the upcoming Care Review and will continue to take the time needed to work closely with organisations, young people and adults maximises impact.