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What happened in #NCLW21?
During National Care Leavers’ Week 2021, we looked at how we can improve the lives of care leavers today — and in the future — so that no care leaver faces a ‘care cliff’. Most importantly, we put your voices front and centre.
‘Leaving’ care should make care-experienced young people feel safe, supported, confident, and ready for the future.
But, all too often, this isn’t the case. Many young care leavers face a ‘care cliff’ where they are forced to leave their placement and start to live independently before they feel ready.
Turning 18 can feel incredibly scary, abrupt and disruptive, as the feeling of ‘care’ stops at a time in life when you need stability the most.
This must change.
We wanted to ask care-experienced young people: what do you think leaving care should be?
We were looking for BIG ideas from care leavers — like radical changes to policy, talking about how leaving care should make you feel, and exploring: do you think ‘leaving care’ should even exist? What would it look like instead?
It was all about looking at what leaving care is like now, and what can be done to make it better.
Check out some of the fantastic content created by care-experienced young people below
For National Care Leavers’ Week 2020 (#NCLW2020) Become launched a campaign to raise awareness of the ‘care cliff’ – where upon turning 18, many young care leavers are forced to leave their placement and start to live independently before they feel ready.
For many care leavers, this can be incredibly abrupt and disruptive, falling at a time in their life when they need stability the most (last years at school, when they start university or a job).
Young care leavers that Become supports have described that time as a “cliff-edge” or “like being on death row, counting down the days” until they turn 18 and their placements are abruptly stopped.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the government stepped in to protect young people from this upheaval, pledging that ‘no one has to leave care during this period. This was a lifeline to many youngsters.
We called on the government to provide clarity on how long this pledge will last, and better yet, to permanently remove the ‘care cliff’ with more funding and flexibility for local authorities to enable young people to transition to independence with the stability, security and support any 18-year-old needs.
A number of celebrities, including actresses Michelle Collins and Samantha Morton, author and broadcaster DJ Annie Mac, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Olympic champions Fatima Whitbread and Jamie Baulch, and comedian and podcaster Deborah Frances-White took to social media throughout the week to show their support for the campaign by sharing their personal memories of turning 18