New service: I-Aspire | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

New service: I-Aspire

By Laura Rombach - 14 December 2018

 

Imagine being taken into care away from your family and being placed in an unfamiliar foster placement or care home, and sometimes having to move several times through your childhood and teenage years.

This is a reality for many looked after children and care leavers across the UK. We hear from some young people that they have had to move up to eight or nine times due to placement breakdowns and other circumstances beyond their control.

This means that they have changed schools and colleges numerous times and often struggled to engage with the education system, just one of many barriers that care leavers often face.

Nationally, 40% of care leavers aged 19-21 are not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), this is an inequality that must be addressed.

I-Aspire is a new service being delivered by Depaul UK that will be supporting 250 looked after children and care leavers to enter and sustain education, training and employment (ETE) in the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich & Bromley over the next 4 years. This service is part of the Department for Education’s initiative to improve support for care leavers.

Depaul UK understand that care leavers lack the support networks that many young people have had from an early age. To address this disparity, the service is designed to be holistic, flexible, and dynamic in supporting young care leavers to achieve their potential in education, training and employment.

Many traditional services are monitored based on the number of interventions made or the number of hours of support provided. This service is far more flexible and allows us to be creative in how we achieve success, meaning we can adapt our approach to fit what best works for each young person.

Our service’s mission can be summed up in 3 points:

  • We will do whatever it takes to support the hardest to reach care leavers into education, training or employment.
  • Once engaged in education, employment or training we will work with them to sustain those placements and support them to progress in achieving further outcomes.
  • We will analyse our approaches and outcomes achieved by each young person, to create a step change in how we work with care leavers in the future.    

The service will be supporting young people to accomplish a variety of goals to help them move toward independent futures. Ultimately we want the young people we’re working with to achieve recognised qualifications, complete work experience and volunteering placements, find employment and stability.

Looking into next year our service is expanding and we are working with a steadily increasing number of young people. We are already seeing young people achieving fantastic things, and we’re excited for what’s to come in 2019.  

We’re also looking for people to join our team, who are committed to making a difference in young people’s lives and want to help improve outcomes for care leavers. If you are interested in applying to join the team please get in touch for more information on: I-Aspire@depaulcharity.org.uk

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