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Unlocking potential: harnessing the influence of fosterers and children’s home carers

This Foster Care Fortnight Go Higher West Yorkshire is highlighting our efforts to reach and upskill the professionals who can potentially have the greatest influence on care experienced young people: foster carers, children’s home staff and personal advisors.

The GHWY Care Leaver Covenant – which has received national recognition – is part of our long history of supporting the educational progression of care leavers. Bringing together what is available to care leavers across our higher education partners, in future our Covenant will form part of a package of resources that key influencers can use with young people.

The flagship output of these efforts is Care to Go Higher – a new training programme to provide key influencers with an insight into higher education to equip them to support a care-experienced young person to make informed choices about their education. The programme will immerse key influencers in a higher education environment in order to inform first-hand perceptions and perspectives about the higher education experience and its value. The pilot programme is due to launch in September in collaboration with Leeds Local Authority.

As part of this work, GHWY was invited by Leeds Trinity University to deliver a guest workshop on their Level 5 Apprenticeship in Children’s Home Management. Students on the apprenticeship received a whistle-stop tour of higher education and its potential value for care leavers. This bespoke opportunity equips children’s home managers to instil a culture of aspiration for looked after children in residential settings and support their educational progression.

By working in this way, we can have a positive impact on:

  • High aspirations of and for care-experienced young people
  • The support care-experienced young people receive to plan for and access higher education
  • The support care-experienced young people receive to succeed in and enjoy higher education

Go Higher is extremely proud of the progress we are making locally to fly the flag for care leavers and their potential to benefit from higher education. By reaching those with the most influence over them, we hope to continue to spread that ethos far and wide.

 

For more information on Go Higher West Yorkshire’s work with care experienced young people or our upcoming Care to Go Higher programme, please contact Natalie Aldridge on n.aldridge@leeds.ac.uk or 0113 34395203 (Thursday-Friday).