Children’s Social Care and School – The demands of school and social care
Leaving care is a milestone for all care leavers, bringing with it a tapestry of emotions, complex challenges and positive opportunities. Leaving care is a symbol of freedom, autonomy and new beginning, whilst at the same time it dances with the ambivalence of uncertainty, the loss of support structures and the departure of meaningful relationships.
The lack of services available for care experienced people often results in young people feeling unsupported and underprepared, lacking the skills in: financial literacy, emotional well-being or independence skills. The transition from care to independent living is complicated logistically, and deeply emotional, layered with various forms of grief, anxiety, and even a sense of abandonment.
This session aims to provide an overview of the wide-ranging challenges and opportunities of leaving care. We begin by understanding the systemic challenges that may make this transition especially difficult, navigating housing options, understanding benefits, gaining employment, and how they can often cancel, contradict or counteract each other.
We also look into the emotional and psychological implications of leaving care, exploring the absence of support can trigger past traumas and exacerbate mental health issues. Participants will learn about attachment styles, emotional regulation, and coping mechanisms that are particularly relevant to care leavers.
Finally, we look at the roles played by professionals in leaving care services – understanding the unique role a personal advisor and a social worker take to support care leavers. Other important stakeholders include: career advisors, mental health practitioners, education providers, employers and the care leaver’s wider family. Each stakeholder plays a unique, indispensable role. However, without effective communication and collaboration, even the best-intentioned efforts can fall flat, leaving young people to navigate leaving care on their own. This session gives you the tools and understanding to best support them so that we mitigate against the cliff edge of leaving care and provide young people with the skills they need to live a meaningful and independent life.
- Understand the practical challenges facing young people leaving care – including housing, employment, and access to education.
- Recognise the emotional and psychological issues of leaving care, including the impact on identity, mental health, and relationships.
- Examine the importance of multi-agency collaboration, identifying best practices for communication among professionals involved in the care-leaving process.
- Gain insight into the lived experiences of care leavers, allowing for a more nuanced, empathic approach to support.
- Acquire solution-focused strategies for equipping young people with the skills they need for independent living, while also addressing their emotional and psychological well-being.
- Learn how to implement trauma-informed approaches to support young people in their transition, minimising the potential for crisis and maximising their capabilities for resilience and growth.