Norfolk charity’s £1.3m boost will help vulnerable children leaving care homes

Norfolk charity Break has been given a �1.3m grant to help children leaving care. Pic: Break.

Norfolk charity Break has been given a �1.3m grant to help children leaving care. Pic: Break. - Credit: Break

Vulnerable young people in the region are to get extra support, after a Norfolk charity was given £1.3m by the government to improve services for those leaving children's homes.

Fighting for Futures logo

Fighting for Futures logo - Credit: Archant

Children's charity Break was awarded the Department for Education grant to help and support young people leaving children's homes in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Watchdogs from Ofsted, who twice rated Norfolk County Council's children's services inadequate, have previously been critical of Norfolk County Council's services for care leavers.

A recent monitoring report, while acknowledging improvements, once again highlighted issues with care leavers, including difficulties getting support from adult services.

But the Break funding will pay for a pilot project in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to test out ways to support children leaving care over the next two and a half years.

Rachel Cowdry, director of business development at Break, said: 'This is a really exciting opportunity for us to work in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to support some of the most vulnerable young people in our counties.

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'Break has already been supporting our own care leavers for five years through our Moving On Team.

'The Department for Education grant will enable us to develop this project to benefit many more vulnerable young people.

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'We hope that this project will have positive repercussions for care leavers in our region and beyond'.

Young adults leaving care are much more likely, than their peers, to struggle in all aspects of their lives such as finding and sustaining work, physical and mental health, and building positive relationships.

Sir Martin Narey, the former chief executive of Barnardo's, conducted an independent review of children's residential care in England, published in July 2016.

This report stated the importance for the young people to 'stay close' to their children's home and the trusted relationships they had with the staff after they had to leave.

The Break project will help do that, providing new training for care home staff and more accommodation for care leavers with intensive support.

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