From Care to Independence is a five-year research project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and delivered by The Prince’s Trust. As part of From Care to Independence, the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has been conducting research predominantly with young people and Programme Executives on the Explore programme, delivered by The Prince’s Trust.
Between 2012 and 2017, research was undertaken into:
- The role that The Prince’s Trust Explore programme plays in helping care leavers to develop the confidence and skills needed to engage with services and wider opportunities
- How this support functions alongside other sources, and how it can be best delivered
The findings of this research will inform how care leavers are supported on Prince’s Trust programmes, as well as being a resource for other practitioners working with care leavers.
Read an executive summary of our From Care to Independence report here:
From Care to Independence Summary (pdf, 742kb)
or access the longer final research report here:
From Care to Independence Full Report (PDF, 1mb)
Please note, these are the final and most recent findings of From Care to Independence, and were released in May 2017.
The executive summary of our interim findings was released back in May 2015.
Read the summary here (pdf, 2mb)
NCB wrote about their findings from the From Care to Independence project in their blog
'Is it good enough for my own children?'.
The blog highlights further research they gathered from workshops with professionals who support children in care and care leavers on how the sector needs to continuously challenge itself to provide a better service on a national level.
As part of From Care to Independence, The Prince’s Trust have also been working with Headliners, a charity which gives young people a voice by using journalism and media as a tool for change.
Headliners have been supporting young care leavers to produce a film in response to the findings of From Care to Independence, and to get to the heart of their opinions regarding their experience of leaving care. Released in May 2017, the video is now available to watch.
Check out the From Care to Independence blog with photography by the young people taking part in the project.
The footage, photography, and commentary in this film was captured by young people, and offers an honest insight into some of the most complex and challenging decisions faced by young people who have experienced the care system.
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The Prince’s Trust has also been working with a number of young people who are interested in becoming “Young Researchers.” The Young Researchers, many of whom are care leavers themselves, received training about how to carry out research as part of The Trust’s From Care to Independence (FC2I) project.
The training provided the Young Researchers with an opportunity to:
- Develop research and interview skills
- Improve their literacy and numeracy
- Increase their confidence
- Gain crucial employability skills
Following the training, the Young Researchers got to work gathering data from care leavers, as well as from statutory and non-statutory professionals across the country. All of their data was gathered through a mixture of focus groups, face-to-face interviews, and online questionnaires.
On 6th March 2017, The Prince’s Trust launched a report summarising the findings of the Young Researchers’ work.
The Young Researchers were also involved in analysing the data and deciding what should be included in the final report, writing some of the content for the report, and designing what the report should look like.
In 2012 Access All Areas published a report (pdf, 1mb) showing what the Government needed to do in order to better help young people leaving care. In response to this, the Government published its Care Leaver Strategy in 2013. This set out what central departments would do to improve services for care leavers. Some positive changes came about and in 2014, a one-year-on report from the Department for Education summarised the key changes that had taken place.
Whilst many positive steps have been taken to help care leavers, we want to ensure their voices are heard in any decisions that are being made about them. We have recently consulted with care leavers and asked them what they would like to change about the care system and to highlight good practice.
In May 2015 we published a report setting out the key messages from care leavers, which will be used to influence change.
Read the document here (pdf, 1mb)
Each year of the project we host the National Care Leavers’ Week conference, which is an opportunity for those working in the sector to share ideas and ways of working with care leavers.
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