Kidderminster College defines a care leaver as a person who has been looked after (for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14), and who was in care on their 16th birthday.
The College does not have a timetable of pre-planned outreach activities for the care leaving community, however we are open to working with the local authority and virtual school teams to offer a bespoke provision should a request be made.
The College is able to provide taster / orientation days at designated quiet times and is also able to accommodate an induction arrangement outside of the standard timetable for identified Care Leavers.
- During the summer term of each academic year, the Virtual School, Children and Young Peoples Services and Learner Services contact potential learners identified and be invited into College with their Support Worker to meet the welfare staff ahead of joining the course.
The college has a dedicated point of contact for care leavers:
Deputy Student Services
Tel: 01562 512001.
- Learner funding needs will be addressed, and in line with funding regulations will provide the learner with payments to the value of £1200 if under the age of 19 or the college will pay for examination fees, child care, equipment, meals at lunch time, uniform and travel costs if over 19.
- Funding may be a combination of payments and other items e.g. travel could be issued to those under 19 to the value of £1200. This information is emailed out to Social Work teams in order that they have the latest policy details.
- Once CIC / CLs commence their studies in the College they will have their first PEP meeting organised with Social Worker, Foster Parent and Learner Welfare Officer or deputy. Where possible, these meetings will be arranged outside of lesson time. Should the meeting take place when the learner is scheduled to be in class, the personal tutor will ensure that sufficient opportunity is given to receive missed teaching time.
- The Student Services Manager will liaise with Local Authority to receive the most up to date list of CIC and CL learners and this list will be made available to the Welfare Personal Tutor and key staff as required.
- CIC and Care leavers will meet with staff on a regular basis to discuss internal or external concerns, progress and attendance. Actions for either party will be noted and tracked.
- The Welfare Personal Tutor will represent Care Leavers at Learner Council should none of the Learner Representatives be a Care Leaver. This will ensure that enrichment activities are inclusive and fit for purpose.
- CIC / CLs will have a PEP review termly and paperwork will be sent to the Social Worker, Virtual School and the Young Person. The Welfare Personal Tutor will meet with the young person to go through the paperwork to ensure understanding and action plans created and followed through. The college is open to continuing “PEPs” with CL should they remain in the college into Higher Education – should the CL wish to.
- It is important that the young person also receives a copy of their College report in eTrackr.
- As part of the College provision, all learners receive the opportunity to have a one-to-one next steps interview with the Careers department. All learners attend sessions as part of group tutorial on CV Writing, Applications and interview, for example.
The Careers department operates an appointment and drop in service for any other aspects relating to employment, UCAS, university applications or Apprenticeships and specific appointments are available to Care Leavers to discuss Higher Education opportunities and the funding and support available. The Careers Service offer support in university and course choices, application completion and statement checking. The Careers Service organise an HE Fair within the College and Taster Days at Universities.
- All learners are provided with the opportunity to do work experience as part of their course. This is a requirement for all learners and not limited to Care Leavers, however the college intends to work closely with the Care Leaver Covenant to target and match CIC / CL students with Covenant opportunities.
- The Welfare Personal Tutor will discuss specific work experience opportunities at their regular meetings, making sure it maps on to the CIC / CLs aspirations inside and out of college.
- At the end of the academic year, CIC / CLs and their support workers will be invited to attend a celebration event for their achievement at college. This will depend on the wishes of our young people.
Ongoing development activity:
- Reworking of the care leaver information pages on the college website
- Working with care leaver student ambassador to capture student voice to inform support necessary for CL students
- All CL students will be linked in with a key member of support staff on successful application, which will act as pre-interview support ahead of the official college interview.
- Form of works is being drafted for an official email of welcome on interview acceptance of all care leavers, outlining support and access.
- Commitment to update the college’s Propel page
2. A Robust Employment Offer
The college has a “Careers Vacancies” board for all learners, with details of voluntary or paid work. CIC / CL will be able to seek out support from the Welfare Personal Tutor for help and support in their application.
On-going development activity:
- Exploring the possibility of a college supported traineeship, specifically for care leavers who are “not work ready”, in collaboration with local businesses.
- Student Services are building a close partnership with Rees’ Community Café who offer additional support and work experience specifically to Care leavers. Rees’ Café is situated in close proximity to our campus and we are currently exploring how we can enhance our support for CIC / CLs through this relationship.
We have a Care Leaver student who is our care leaver champion and who works closely with local authority and support teams at college. This young person represents Care Leavers on a countywide scale. They collaborate on initiatives at local authority and promote those initiatives within the college with the support of Student Services. This young person meets regularly with Student Services to discuss initiatives and their promotion.
We have a wide variety of enrichment events and activities. For example, Careers Fairs, well-being weeks, Equality and Diversity events. To which a number of external partners, companies, and experts are invited. Although this is not provided explicitly for CIC / Cl students we actively encourage this cohort to attend. Looking at targeted ways to demonstrate impact and that these opportunities are impacting on specific learner groups.
On-going development activity:
- Student Services are building a close partnership with Rees’ Community Café who offer additional support and work experience specifically to Care leavers. Rees’ Café is situated in close proximity to our campus and we are currently exploring how we can enhance our support for CIC / CLs in the community through this relationship.
- Exploring how the outcomes of the care leaver champion work can be shared more widely within the college and local community – discussion around QR codes with IAG and outcomes from meetings
- The college is working closely with all departments to explore the possibility of discounted hair and beauty treatments, sports coaching and access to other facilities for the local community, which will be updated as they become available.
- The college is exploring the way in which rooms and facilities could be used by the Local Authority and care leaver groups free of charge.