New scheme to help Norwich youngsters leaving care

Norfolk County Council. County Hall. Photo : Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council. County Hall. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

A major project to help young people once they have left care has been unveiled.

Norfolk County Council and Bowthorpe-based Cotman Housing Association have designed a scheme for those aged 17 and over and who have recently left care.

The scheme, Housing Partnership for Young People, provides accommodation, training and guidance for these people.

Now Cotman Housing, which has 3,500 homes in East Anglia, is using a £1m Big Lottery Fund cash pot to improve the financial confidence of people in social housing in Norwich, including young people who have left care.

The county council were paying about £5,000 per week in residential care costs. But now, with Cotman providing accommodation across the city, the authority is only contributing a top-up of £80 a week until a young person completes their apprenticeship, as well as a one off a lump sum Leaving Care Grant of £1,300.

The partnership project was unveiled last week and is already supporting one young person to make sure he has enough money to cover living costs and make sure he is on an effective transition and engagement programme into education, employment and training.

Jameel Malik, head of service delivery at Cotman Housing Association, said: 'This young person has been able to move into their own home. He has come out of residential care and we have helped him to move in, buy recycled furniture and more.'

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And James Joyce, chairman of the children's services committee at the county council, said: 'We are committed to ensuring young people leaving our care have the best possible life chances.'

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