Many young people can leave the care system feeling unprepared, financially insecure, in poor mental health and without the support networks most of us take for granted. This can mean care leavers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown.
To further our understanding about the impact of COVID-19 on care leavers’ wellbeing, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) commissioned research into the impact of COVID-19 on the daily life and wellbeing of care leavers, focusing on what support they need as lockdown ends. The Beyond Lockdown research team, which included a partnership between University of Sussex and Creative Research Collective, undertook the research from June until December 2020.
The research team also worked with care leavers to co-produce key messages for both care leavers and those services working with care leavers to enable them to provide effective support to care leavers during the pandemic.
Health Innovation KSS is now leading on the implementation of these findings and has compiled a toolkit of resources for those working with care leavers:
- Beyond Lockdown – Key messages to care leavers and those services working with care leavers
- What support do care leavers want as lockdown ends? – An outline of key messages for service providers from the Beyond Lockdown Study
- Kent Care Leavers Presentation – How key messages can be shared to all care leavers and those services who support them
- Update on Care Leavers Wellbeing Pledges – made as a result of the Care Leavers Wellbeing Event in November 2020
- Video messages from care leavers in Kent to those who are working with care leavers during and post COVID lockdown
- Video messages from care leavers in Kent to support other care leavers during and post COVID lockdown
- Beyond Lockdown presentation including Care Leavers’ perspectives during and post lockdown (which includes the video of messages from care leavers to service providers)
For more information on the work contact Becca Randell, Starting Well Implementation Lead, Health Innovation KSS.