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Council sign Scottish Care Leavers Covenant

Posted on 13 Feb 2017

North Ayrshire’s Community Planning Partnership last week made a huge commitment to help children in care.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and chair of the Community Planning Partnership, was joined by council officers, young people and Community Planning Partners as he signed the Scottish Care Leavers Covenant.

This Covenant is a pledge by Corporate Parents – such as Councils – to make change happen for care leavers to give them the bright and better future they deserve.

At a recent meeting of the Community Planning Partnership Board, all partners – including the likes of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Police Scotland and the third-sector interface - agreed to sign the Covenant.

The Council has underlined its commitment by pledging to guarantee five Modern Apprentice places for care leavers.

Chief Executive Elma Murray has also agreed to mentor a care leaver and will help and support them throughout their apprenticeship.

 As well as the firm commitment by the Council, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also confirmed that they will consider making their Firereach programme - designed to help young people understand the job the fire fighters do on a daily basis – more accessible for care leavers.

All partners will offer work experience to care leavers and mentor them so they can progress to a positive destination (employment, further education, training etc).

 The report to the Community Planning Partnership was prompted by the Chair, Councillor Joe Cullinane, writing to all partners to ask for a collaborative strategy to help improve outcomes for young people in the care system.

 The latest proposals come just weeks after the Council agreed that the exam results of North Ayrshire’s Children in Care would be published separately to analyse how they were doing and what changes, if any, could help improve their performance.

 Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and the Chair of the North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership, said: “We are fighting hard in difficult financial circumstances to make a real, tangible difference to some of the most vulnerable people living in our communities.

 “As corporate parents we have a huge responsibility to young people in care. Outcomes for care leavers are below those of their peers and that means we have much to do to deliver the equity of opportunity that they deserve.

 “By signing the Scottish Care Leavers Covenant we are making this commitment and hopefully we can have a positive influence on the life opportunities of many care leavers through it.”