Trowers & Hamlins signs up to the Care Leaver Covenant
International law firm Trowers & Hamlins has become an official legal partner of the Care Leaver Covenant, a programme developed under the Department for Education's "Keep on Caring" policy, aiming to improve outcomes for care leavers.
The announcement comes as National Care Leavers’ Week (26 October – 1 November), which aims to highlight the successes of care-experienced young people and campaign for extra support for those leaving the care system.
The firm will support the Covenant with their legal responsibilities on a pro-bono basis, having already developed a 12-page ‘Toolkit’ to equip councils with the ability to offer dedicated support for care leavers at the procurement phase. The toolkit combines guidance on language, advertisement and contract management as well as giving examples of best practice from councils that are leading in their support for vulnerable groups.
The Care Leaver Covenant tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently. Working with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors, who sign up to the Covenant, tangible opportunities for care leavers are created, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.
Partner Yetunde Dania, who has been a member of the Advisory Board for the Covenant since its inception in mid-2018, said:
"We at Trowers take pride in our commitment to making diversity and inclusion a priority and the work carried out by the covenant is something that we as a firm are extremely passionate about.
“My passion for this organisation is born out of a desire to be part of something that will have a positive impact on the lives of some of those leaving our care system and help to provide them with opportunities that otherwise they may not have, encouraging social mobility and support where it's needed. As a firm, we can help to make a difference."
Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive of Spectra, delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant added:
"We are delighted to have Trowers supporting us. They are well known for their prominent standing in the social and private housing sectors, which places them in a unique position to extend the reach of our work at the Covenant.
“We want to ensure care leavers have the same opportunities as all young people so that they can lead healthy, happy and successful lives.
“Trowers have played a pivotal role in in supporting the Covenant to produce the social value toolkit and I look forward to continuing to work together on further projects."
This week, on Thursday 29 October, the Covenant is holding The Empathy Summit, where it will call on education and business leaders to be more empathetic towards care leavers and provide specific opportunities for them. Examples include businesses offering recruitment schemes tailored towards care leavers and education establishments delivering specially designed support packages featuring, for example, extended accommodation during holiday periods.
For further information about The Empathy Summit or to register for free tickets, go to https://mycovenant.org.uk/empathy-summit-event/
Most care leavers will lack the social networks to support them in leading independent, fulfilling lives and the Covenant seeks to address these challenges by promoting five key outcomes so that care leavers:
- Are better prepared to live independently;
- Have improved access to employment, education and training;
- Experience stability in their lives and feel safe and secure;
- Have improved access to health support; and
- Achieve financial stability.
Care leaver facts and stats
- There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK. Roughly ¾ predominantly in foster care and ¼ in Local Authority residential care.
- Around 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers.
- Around 40% of care leavers aged 19-21 are NEET.
- Only about 7% of care leavers begin university degrees.
- Roughly 25% of the male and female prison population are care experienced.
- Roughly 25% of the homeless population are care experienced.
The Care Leaver Covenant in action:
- More than 200 organisations signed up to the Covenant, including Trowers & Hamlins, Barclays, Reed, Superdry, Amazon, ENGIE, PGL and Compass Group.
- 1,000 plus opportunities created for care leavers.
- 152 councils with Children Services departments to support the Covenant.