Since March 2020, the YPN research team have been investigating what support care experienced young people need during the pandemic - looking at issues around mental health, housing, education and employment.
We reviewed the literature around the impact of COVID-19 on Care Leavers so we could share it with you in one place.
You can read our key findings and recommendations below, and the full report below that. Please get in touch if you have anything to add or ask.
Care Leavers are at significant risk of homelessness.
COVID-19 has made it harder to access crucial services.
Care Leavers are more likely to live alone than their peers and may find it more difficult to isolate because of unresolved trauma.
Some local authorities and others have been advocating on behalf of YP with housing and utility providers, offering supported accommodation and delivering online initiatives.
Targeted support should be delivered that considers the diversity of our needs and experiences.
W e need sustainable housing solutions for care leavers and statutory services should remain open and sufficiently resourced.
COVID-19 has left care experienced students without
guidance during the pandemic while facing loneliness, financial worry and a lack of educational support. CEP students are worried about not being able to earn money and are not eligible for benefits.
Care Leavers struggle with digital access. COVID-19 means there is no access to libraries and social digital spaces.
Apprenticeships and jobs are at risk, along with the impact of losing a routine and social contact of going into work while isolating.
Government support packages should have direct oversight to make sure it reaches us. We need widened and consistent digital access resources, our work placements and apprenticeships need protecting and improved communication about how to get the support we need.
Care Leavers may already be financially vulnerable and at risk of increased levels of anxiety and isolation.
New issues created by COVID-19 include accessing shopping and medication, and concerns about losing employment or reduced wages.
Care leavers at university are feeling particularly isolated without the usual support and staying in halls/houses while their peers have returned home during lockdown.
Personal advisors should keep in touch more often than they normally would and keep track of our education, financial and isolation related needs. Universities can help by providing weekly check ins and increasing the availability of hardship funds. Local authorities can help by actively using financial support made available to care leavers by National Government.