The Looked after Children & Care Leavers Conference has been organised as part of the National Care Leavers` Week that runs at the end of October. The NCLW aims to highlight the needs of care leavers and encouraging the agencies responsible for looking after them to work in a coordinated and effective way. The week is also about focussing the minds of politicians on the lack of support for the specific needs of individuals being in care and raising public awareness about the invisible minority who face a particular set of challenges as they enter adult life.
The Looked after Children & Care Leavers Conference organised by Bradford College in partnership with University of Bradford aims to raise awareness of the care system, aims to help understand the support needs of care leavers and looked after children but also to raise aspirations of children in care and care leavers.
The event is open to everyone, may it be a care leaver, a support worker, a parent; anyone that is interested in finding more information about the care system, real life stories or finding out about opportunities open to looked after children and care leavers and the support that is available to them.
9:30am Registration and refreshments
10am Welcome by Andy Welsh (Bradford College Group CEO)
10:10am True stories about life in care
12:45pm – 1:30pm Breakout Session 1
1:45pm – 2:30pm Breakout Session 2
2:45pm – 3:30pm Breakout Session 3
3:45pm – 4pm Close
Criminalisation of Children in Care and Care Leavers (Andrew Brierley – Leeds City Council)
- o Discussing the Laming Prison Reform Trust and the over criminalisation of Looked After Children and Care Leavers.
Health and Mental Health (Jakeb Arturio Braden - Careleavers Association)
- o Why are Looked after children and Care leavers more at risk of mental health? Discussing coping mechanisms to aid recovery as well as support available.
Care Leavers in Education (Dr. Jim Goddard – University of Bradford)
- o Why children who spend time in the care system are less likely than other children to achieve academic success?
Routes into Higher Education (Gillian Elvidge, Lucy Holloway - Bradford College, and Sophie Collins – University of Bradford)
- o Discussing the different options available at HE Level, the qualifications required for entry, and how to access them. Suitable for anyone who is thinking of Further or Higher Education but is not clear on the route to take and what support is available both financial and pastoral.
The Care Cliff (Edward Nixon - Every Child Leaving Care Matters)
- o Addressing the fact that we are very poor at preparing for children leaving care, helping to guide them through the process and providing on-going support into adulthood.
Informal Q&A about life in care
- o Informal session with care leavers