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Young People

Greater Manchester backs care leavers pledge with action

On Friday, 1 November, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) brought together some 200 care leavers, senior officers and local politicians, alongside business leaders and partners from the voluntary and statutory sectors, for an event about Doing Things Differently for Care Leavers in Greater Manchester.

At the event held during National Care Leavers’ Week, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Councillor David Jones, Leader of Bury Council and GMCA Lead for Young People and Social Cohesion, signed The Care Experienced Conference Pledge on behalf of all ten Greater Manchester local authorities. This represents an important step that recognises the need for support to continue beyond statutory legislation.

A number of proposed benefits were discussed at the event, including a code of standards for Greater Manchester businesses designed to boost care leavers’ job prospects, housing guarantees, concessionary public transport offers and the adoption of a Care Leavers Pledge across the city-region to drive an improvement in care leavers’ services.

Care leavers aged between 18 and 25 and under a duty of care from one of Greater Manchester’s ten local authorities are already exempt from paying council tax, in a measure designed to boost work and life prospects.

The tax relieving measure, a benefit delivered following the launch of the city-region’s Care Leavers Guarantee in the spring, is designed to be one element of a suite of support GMCA and local councils have pledged in a bid to support them into adulthood and the jobs market.

In addition to showcasing the ambitious and impactful work that is taking place across the city-region, the event at the University of Manchester called on public, private and third sector organisations to adopt the principles of corporate parenting in a bid to support the ambitions of the Greater Manchester Care Leavers Guarantee.

The Guarantee, launched in April, is backed by more than half a million pounds of Government funding. It outlines the city-region’s bold approach to boosting outcomes for often vulnerable young people who leave the care system. The Guarantee sets out five key priority areas of focus to be delivered via a new Greater Manchester Care Leavers Trust Board. Those leaving care are to be enabled to:

  • Be better prepared and supported to live independently
  • Have improved access to education, employment and training
  • Experience stability in their lives and feel safe and secure
  • Receive improved access to health support
  • Achieve financial stability

Article Published: 12/11/2019 15:47 PM