The CLA actively works either in partnership or through the direction of members on research relating to the issues affecting those with Care Experience. Below you can find some our key pieces of work we have been a part of creating over the years. In addition to this, we will be pulling together other research that links to Care Experience, this is a working progress however so please do check back regularly.
Access to Records Report
This report has been written by the Access to Care Records Campaign Group (ACRCG), whose members are the Care Leavers’ Association (CLA), CoramBAAF (formerly BAAF), Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), The Post Care Forum and Barnardo’s, supported by Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, OBE. It is based on evidence collected through six roundtable events with care leavers and practitioners and managers which took place across England in mid-2015. It sets out some of the
challenges and barriers to accessing care records and makes practical recommendations for Government, local authorities and other agencies to improve care leavers’ access to records.
Health Project Report
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.
Access All Areas Report
Young people who have been in care often say that the support they get from public services doesn’t meet what they need. Access All Areas, a group of charities that work with care leavers, published a report in 2012 which showed what the Government needed to change and do to help young people better as they left care.
In response to this, in 2013, the Government published its ‘Care Leaver Strategy’ 1. This set out what central departments would do to improve services for care leavers. Some positive changes came about from this coordinated focus on care leavers and, in 2014, a one-year-on report from the Government summarised the key
changes that had taken place
Clear Approach Report
Over the past 4 years The Care Leavers Association (CLA) has been developing a work stream that focuses on improving the lives of care leavers in the criminal justice system (CJS). Through funding from NOMS and the Tudor Trust we have been working throughout the CJS. The focus of this work stream is the relationship between the care leaver, their care experiences, the CLA worker and the wider community. These aspects are developed in a series of one to one sessions, as a series of modules. These are complimented with group work to provide a space for the care leaver to take more control and ownership of their own story, develop a collective understanding of their experiences, recognising they are not alone and, using this new found confidence to positively direct them in other aspects of daily life. Out of this we have developed a specific program designed to empower care leavers in the CJS to take more control over their lives. We are currently delivering Clear Approach at the Intensive Alternatives To Custody project of Cheshire and Greater Manchester CRC. The work was evaluated by Manchester Met and Lancaster University
Speaking Out Report
Speaking Out wass a CLA project aimed at young people in and leaving care (aged 15 – 25)from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. To ensure that the project is as young-person-led as possible a steering group of BAME young people has been formed to oversee the progress of the project and the views of young people have been sought wherever possible. Speaking Out aimed to give young people the opportunity to voice their views about how the care system could be changed for the better to improve their lives. To improve the services offered to this group of young people it is crucial that their voices are heard and that practitioners and policy
makers make the concerns of BAME young people in, and leaving care, their concerns – otherwise improvements in delivery of services will be much slower and will certainly be less well thought through. As a part of this process, with the help of our steering group, we organised an ‘Open Space’ event in Manchester in June 2010. Over 80 people, from all across the UK, attended the event, the overwhelming majority being young people from the care system. Representatives of statutory and voluntary agencies also attended. This is a report of the proceedings of the event. The purpose of the event was to discover what young people thought were the problems with the current care system and to hear their recommendations for change. It was also an opportunity for young people to meet others from care and for everyone to share their thoughts and ideas. The event included a lot of discussion and the recommendations that came out of those discussions are recorded verbatim in the following pages. Many of the issues for young people in care from BAME backgrounds are the same as those for children and young people from White or other
backgrounds but there are a significant number of issues which are culture specific. This is why we thought it was important to have this project, which focuses on young people from certain backgrounds in order to provide a space for voices which may otherwise get lost in more general participation work. The ‘Concluding Remarks’ section at the end of this report shows that overall the Speaking Out event was felt to be very positive. The event was the first of its kind and there are many lessons to
learn from it. This project is an important first step in beginning to give a voice to young people in care from BAME backgrounds and in beginning to tackle the issues they face. The next step is to take forward some of the key issues raised on the day with a focus group of young people. Those involved in the focus group will decide in what way they want to work on these issues.
Time for ‘Justice’ Report
From the 1st October 2009 until the 15th January 2010 the Care Leavers’ Association and the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care (www.sircc.org.uk) were commissioned by the Scottish Human Rights Commission(www.scottishhumanrights.com) to carry out research to inform the development of a human rights framework for the design and implementation of an “Acknowledgement and Accountability Forum” on historic abuse of children in Scotland.
This report has now been published and you can download this report here: Time for Justice Report
Listen Up! Care Leavers’ Questionnaire
In the final quarter of 2009, Zachari Duncalf, one of the CLA’s Executive Committee members, conducted a piece of research with the CLA’s network of care leavers.
Zachari designed a questionnaire, which aimed to collect helpful information about adult care leavers in the UK. The questionnaire covered the backgrounds and experiences of adult care leavers both in care and post-care. This is the first time that anyone has widely consulted adults who have been in care as children.
The report from this research project was launched on Monday 2nd August 2010. You can read it here: Listenup! Report