During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SCLC Alliance partners have continued to meet regularly, strengthening our collective resolve to: collate and share information; to identify and share interesting and effective practice; to offer support directly to care leavers and care experienced young people; and to offer support to those agencies and organisations who provide services and care for them.
This briefing paper aims to highlight some of the key issues and some of the solutions that have been identified. We draw together learning from our own work and from our extensive networks and relationships with partners to offer a number of recommendations, and to prioritise steps to improve the lives of care leavers.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and amplified the precariousness of many care leavers’ situations, and the inconsistencies and variations that exist in relation to support and services. Despite the varied range of positive localised responses, the health pandemic has exposed the structural disadvantage and discrimination that many carer leavers face, impacting on their rights to services, supports and provisions required to meet their developmental needs into adulthood. This is in relation to both individual circumstances as well as recognising care leavers’ needs as a broader population to whom the State, as corporate parent, at local and national level, has specific duties and responsibilities.