The Prince’s Trust today hosted the National Care Leavers’ Week Conference, which brought professionals from across the sector together to share expertise and explore ideas and ways of working with care leavers.

Over the past 40 years, we've supported tens of thousands of care leavers into work, education or training, and have hosted the National Care Leavers’ Week Conference annually since 2012. 

Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, gave the keynote speech at the conference. He said:

All young people experience big changes in their late teenage years and early twenties, but for those leaving care this can be even harder to navigate. That is why I have committed to launching the Care Leavers Covenant, and I am delighted to be at The Prince’s Trust event today as we continue to support these young people to give them an equal start in adult life.

Other speakers at the event, included Charlotte Levene, Trainer and Consultant at YoungMinds, Martha Wansbrough, Director at Drive Forward Foundation, Priya Clarke from the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers, Kev Curran, Director at Inspired Youth, Amy Mook and Shelly Reed from York Children in Care Council and Jacob Tas, Chief Executive of Nacro.

Charlotte Lee, Project Manager for The Prince’s Trust’s From Care to Independence project, said:

It was inspiring to see care leavers and practitioners from across the sector join forces today to share their insights into the issues care leavers face and how best to support them. We know young people who are in or leaving care often come up against some of the most difficult challenges in life and are more likely to struggle at school or with unemployment, so it’s vital we work together to ensure we’re doing everything we can to help them fulfil their potential, and to provide positive care leaver role models.

To help understand the needs of care leavers and what works in supporting them into positive outcomes, The Prince’s Trust, with funding from The Big Lottery Fund, is delivering the England-wide five-year research project ‘From Care to Independence’. The research will culminate in a final report published in early 2017.

Working with the National Children’s Bureau Research Centre, the research will help inform how care leavers are supported on Prince’s Trust programmes and be a resource for other practitioners working with care leavers.