Since the Careleaversreunited website went ‘live’ (from 19th September 2003), we have had 4416 care leavers join the site and 1453 care homes have been registered. This is a great result, especially since we have not had funding to market or publicise the website widely. We have also had people starting to link up through the site. For example, three of care leavers who were brought up by nuns in Knolle Park, in Liverpool (though they didn’t know each other whilst in care), have already been in touch. Other links have also been developed. As the site grows, we hope that there will be many more of these kind of links.
All of the above has been achieved with relatively little publicity. However, we did launch a small publicity campaign through press releases to the mass media in late 2003, which enjoyed quite a lot of success. We had an article in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus (28 November 2003), an article in The Guardian (3 December 2003), and we were interviewed by Radio Norfolk (5 December 2003), The Big Issue and ‘Children Now’.
The administration of the sites (checking of homes and responding to most queries and issues that arise) is done by Mary, Jim and Victoria Hull.
In the summer of 2009 we will be launching a ‘new look’ CareleaversReunited. We are in the process of redeveloping it and integrating it into the CLA’s main website. Once it has been relaunched CareleaversReunited will have lots more additional features, along the lines of other social networking websites. We also hope it will be much easier to use, more interactive and more secure.