Please detail the full life-cycle support you have in place for care leavers.
The Care Leaver Covenant advocates for a collaborative, whole-institution approach.
When detailing a response to this “pillar” we ask you to bear in mind (and where appropriate make reference to):
- The DfE Principles for Supporting Care Leavers in HE – which applies in part to FEC
- That all appropriate and relevant information is kept up to date (and regularly checked) on the Propel Site
- The CSJ and First Star’s pledge of supporting 12×24
- The outcomes of NNECL’s Quality Mark Pilot, with the long-term consideration of signing up.
- Reviewing and improving this provision every year, or as new advice is published – whichever comes first.
Blackburn Colleges Commitment for Care Experienced Young People.
Blackburn College is committed to ensuring that all our learners achieve their full potential. As part of our commitment the principles detailed below highlight our support offer for care experienced young people to help them achieve their potential.
Principles of the Care Experienced Covenant
Providing a dedicated Mentor who will support from pre- enrolment through to their completion/ progression.
Ensuring care experienced young people have a priority status in decisions about access to services or support including counselling, careers, finances & mentoring.
Making care experienced young people exempt from certain course costs and supporting them financially with additional costs for equipment, uniforms, kits, travel, College meals and College trips.
Ensuring regular meetings are held with the neighboring Local Authorities to ensure care experienced young people are monitored, any concerns identified and appropriate joint action/support is put in place.
Working closely with our University Centre who provide a Leaving Care Transition Worker for the College to assist with the progression into HE.
Providing care experienced young people with opportunities to enter the world of work, including through providing a certain number of work experience placements, internships, traineeships and apprenticeships and access to qualified Careers
Advisors who can give relevant information, advice and guidance on future progression opportunities.
Providing care experienced young people with additional support by ensuring that they are supported closely through the Pastoral Support Team whilst they are at college.
Providing care experienced young people with opportunities for personal
development including free enrolment onto and guaranteeing care leavers a place on the National Citizenship Programme and/or Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Providing additional support to help meet the costs of living independently at a young age such as help with living costs through the hardship fund.
Providing care experienced young people with opportunities to broaden their horizons/experience new things through the College enrichment programme including the free gym membership.
Working with other agencies across the Lancashire to ensure that care experienced young people have their achievements celebrated at an annual event.
A robust employment offer
From application support, or adapted application processes and mentoring, to specific internships, work experience, apprenticeships or traineeships.
This is very much open for institutional specific responses, but we believe that every institution is in a position through supporting care leavers as students to translate aspects of this to supporting and offering opportunities to current and potential employees.
As a college we have signed the Covenant Care Leaver Friendly Employment Charter and we are committed collectively to support both care experienced students as well as those in the community via our employment opportunities.
How does the institution build relationships and engage with the local community?
Consider student clinics – medical or law for example. Health and beauty treatments, culinary schools or sports coaching in colleges, or information on talk series and open events etc.
Consideration should be given to the advertising and access and / or discounted opportunities, which could be hosted on the Care Leaver Covenant app.
Consider how this information is publicised, how this might be augmented to enhance the reach to a care leaving audience?
Blackburn College offers a skills partnership with employers and the local community that enables them to work closely with local businesses to develop the skills they need to be successful. Our Careers Advisors are fully qualified at Level 6 in order to be able to give specific advice and guidance in terms of their next steps including access to community services
The Community Partnership strategy is being developed which will involve key partners from the community being invited to a strategy group meeting held at the college termly. Local leaving care teams will be invited onto the Community Partnership so they can contribute to the research of what other types of support can be potentially offered to care experienced in the wider community.
The College is currently exploring how we can further support including discounted offers for the use of commercial services on top of the normal offer. In addition to this we will offer free or reduced rate treatments in the hair and beauty salons where the care experienced would pay cost prices. Care Experienced students can also access the onsite gym for free.
We work with local and national employers securing Apprenticeships and work experience and work-related activity. Care Experienced students are also given if necessary access to further additional support by the Pastoral and the Apprenticeship team in order to make sure they are making significant progress throughout their learner journey.