National Gathering 30th March

The Care Leavers Association National Gathering and AGM will take place on 30th March 2019 at The Friends Meeting House Manchester. Join us from 1:30 for some lunch with proceedings starting at 2. This year the theme is Building Connections: Reducing Loneliness. Our key note speaker is Ian Dickson. Care leaver, retired residential care manager and Ofsted inspector, many of you will know Ian from his tireless campaigning to improve outcomes for care leavers. Ian is an inspiring person and speaker. Come and be uplifted and energised by what he has to say. We will be having an open discussion to talk about connections and loneliness. If you would like… Read More

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Good News

The CLA has recently received funding for 2 new projects. The Big Lottery is funding us through its Building Connections Fund to tackle loneliness and isolation. We will work over 2 years to establish an online digital network to help care leavers across the country to connect and support each other. The Igen Trust is funding us to develop a project to improve the mental health of young care leavers. We will be working with care leavers in Sheffield and Greater Manchester as well as with the local universities to deliver group work and individual support. More information on these projects will be released soon.

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Care Leavers in Focus Opportunity

The Care Leavers Association is working in a partnership led by award winning charity PhotoVoice exploring the experiences of people who have gone through the care system. In partnership with 3 charities, the project will use photography to explore the experiences of adults who have left care (25+). Cameras will be provided, and no photographic experience is necessary – the insights shared through the 8 weekly workshops will help PhotoVoice develop new toolkits designed to improve the care system and support those currently in care. Drawing on PhotoVoice’s extensive experience in participatory photography and participatory-led engagement, participants will be trained in digital photography and media, storytelling and self-advocacy. They will be supported to… Read More

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Case For Change Response

Read The Care Leavers Association response to the government Review of Children’s Social Care Case For Change. The Case For Change itself was just over 80 pages long and covered many different aspects of the children’s social care sector. Given the current strain on our staffing resources we only responded to areas where we felt we had prior knowledge and experience. The Case For Change does highlight some important points that we welcome. However, there are significant areas that the Case For Change has neglected. And throughout the report there are numerous instances where major assumptions have been made and where positions have been taken based on ideology rather than… Read More

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Darren Coyne

It is with great sadness that we announce that Care Leavers Association (CLA) Project Manager Darren Coyne has died this morning, after a short illness. Darren was one of a kind. He was a straight-talking Yorkshireman who cared passionately about improving the lives of care experienced people of all ages. Prepared to tell truth to power, he was also an amazing support worker for individual care leavers and for groups of care leavers. He could, and did, work with anyone in the cause of helping care leavers, from members of the House of Lords to young care leavers in the criminal justice system in need of support. Wherever he went,… Read More

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Government Announces Care Review

Today Friday 15th January 2021 the government finally launched a review of the care system. “The Care Leavers Association welcomes today’s announcement from the UK government of the start of the promised review of children’s social care. We look forward to helping the review understand the long-standing failures of major aspects of the current care system and contributing to the development of a far more positive future for children in care and care leavers. We especially commend the statement that “Running throughout the review will be the voices and experiences of children, young people or adults who have been looked-after, or who have received help or support from a social… Read More

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Photo Voice

We are working in partnership with Photo Voice to explore the perspectives of care-experienced young people of different ages across England and Wales. The project uses photography and storytelling as a tool for advocacy and self-expression, as participants reflect on their perspective of what they need from relevant support services and provisions. We are looking for care leavers over 25 to take part in workshops for the next stage of the project which will provide participants opportunities to learn photographic storytelling skills to reflect on, and respond to, other participant insights into the care system. This is open to people with no photography skills and those with photography skills. Information… Read More

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CLA Goes Virtual

From Saturday 15th August The CLA will move to being a virtual organisation. Our Manchester office lease was up for renewal at an increased rate. This coupled with our experiences of working from home during Covid-19 led to trustees to take the decsion to move to a virtual setting. All of the team are now working from home. Our legal address is First Floor, Swan Buildings, 20 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JW. Post will still reach us at this address but may take a few days longer than normal. Our new telephone number is 0161 826 0214. We are using a virtual telephone system. All calls will be sent to… Read More

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Care in the time of Covid

Just wanted to share details about Care in the time of COVID a project for the care experienced community which has just been launched by care leavers at Oxford University. This project explores the day to day lives of care experienced adults in the UK during COVID-19. They would like to know how the care community is coping and what helps them. They want to record their experiences during covid in history. This involves submitting a diary entry and completing a short survey the participants well-being and how they’re coping – which should take no more than 15-20mins to complete. Diaries can be written (200 to 600 words), a video or audio entry (3 to 5 mins), a song, music, spoken word or a poem you have written… Read More

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The CLA reponse to Covid-19

In late March, the CLA – like many other organisations – had to respond rapidly to the Covid-19 pandemic (more details here – https://www.careleavers.com/the-care-leavers-association-and-the-covid-19-pandemic/). Following that period of adjustment, we are now relaunching our public activities. From Wednesday 15th of April we are resuming work on various projects and helping individual care leavers with advice, support and advocacy. Carrie Wilson-Harrop and Darren Coyne will provide advice, support and advocacy to care leavers and those supporting them. Alongside National Director David Graham the team will continue to work to influence national government and local authority policy and practice and in particular ensuring that care leavers are fully supported during and after… Read More

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