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National Care Leavers' Week 2020

Join us in celebrating National Care Leavers' Week from Monday 26 October – Sunday 1 November 2020.

For National Care Leavers’ Week 2020 (#NCLW2020) Become has 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 has been a lifeline to many youngsters.

We are now calling 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 BenjaminOlympic champions Fatima Whitbread and Jamie Baulch, and comedian and podcaster Deborah Frances-White will be taking to social media throughout the week to show their support for the campaign by sharing their personal memories of turning 18

 

How you can get involved
Take to social media

Please back the campaign by posting a photo or personal memory from when you were 18, or by supporting our call to end the #carecliff and avoid this abrupt transition to adulthood that many care leavers face.

 

To do this, you can:

  • Post a photo of yourself at 18 on Instagram or Twitter and/or;
  • Use the hashtag #wheniwas18 in a short caption describing what you were doing at the time and how you felt transitioning into adulthood
  • Include our call to government to end the #carecliff

Suggested social media posts (please feel free to write your own):

Instagram

  • For #NCLW2020 I support @becomecharity’s call to @educationgovuk to end the #carecliff and support young #careexperienced people in their transition into independence. This is more important than ever, knowing that the COVID-19 crisis has made many young care leavers feel even more isolated, at risk and in need of support.

Twitter

  • This #NCLW2020 I’m backing @Become1992 and their call to @educationgovuk to end the #carecliff.
Donate

To support young care leavers who are transitioning into independent living at 18, you can Text Become to 70085 to donate £18 today and help young care leavers to heal, grow and unleash their potential, giving them the same opportunities as their peers.

 

£18 could help ensure someone is able to answer an urgent call to our Care Advice Line from a young person who is anxious about the sudden lack of support they have when they turn 18.

As well as supporting these young care leavers by running the Care Advice Line, Become also deliver individual coaching and group sessions for care-experienced young people, including weekly ‘link-up’ sessions on Zoom for young care experienced people to hang out with others. Become also provides a specialist online service, Propel, to help care leavers considering applying to further education or university. 

What does it mean to leave care?

In England and Wales, the leaving care age is 18, although young people can leave care from the age of 16. At 18, however, a young person is no longer looked after by the local authority. All statutory support from the local authority will end by age 25.

Hosting an event?

If you're hosting an event for care leavers during National Care Leavers week and you'd like us participate, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at engagement@becomecharity.org.uk.