We have now come to the end of the Department of Health funded work. We have the pleasure in launching the Final Report Caring For Better Health, a Toolkit for Commissioners and 45 Ways, a leaflet to help professionals working with care leavers.
Health outcomes for care leavers are poorer than non- care peers. And this goes for care leavers of all ages. We have to pay more attention to this situation, focusing on why this is and what can we do to make an improvement. We also have to think longer term. What happens to us before and during care can have long lasting effects. Services and interventions must not just be quick fixes but provide lasting solutions. More focus needs to be placed on mental health which includes emotional well being. Many care leavers we encountered did not have diagnosed mental health issues, but had serious well-being issues that prevented them from living life fully. Care leavers have every right to lead a happy and fulfilling life. We must all work harder to make this happen.
The project worked with the following CCG’S: Bedford, Corby, Merton, South Tees, Surrey, Sutton, Tameside, Thanet, Waltham Forest and Westminster.
Each area has set up a working group which meets regularly bringing in key local stakeholders.
Each area has developed its own action plan. But all areas have worked on mapping local services for care leavers and developing a Joint and Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
We have held seminars at which each area discussed issues and proposed solutions to key challenges.
Part of the focus of the project is on increasing the user voice. To this end we have done the following:
- Established regional forums of care leavers in London, Birmingham and Manchester
- Established a virtual social network of care leavers
- Undertook a survey of care leaver on health. We have had over 400 responses
We have also undertaken a survey of health professionals with over 150 responses
The report and tools were all developed by talking to care leavers.
If you would like to more information on our work, or would like us to work with you to improve care leaver health outcomes then contact firstname.lastname@example.org