As we enter the last quarter of the year, I feel it is best to reflect on what the year so far has had in store for us as care experienced people, in many different local authorities across the UK (United Kingdom). This year alone, society has seen a big change of the UK receiving a new helpful Prime Minister, who has announced that education ministers will be leading a crucial policy reform for children’s social care in the next few months, which personally I hope will make a new and impactful change.
This year has made massive changes and many different charities and organisations across the UK (United Kingdom), has released, and reported massive new publications that have impacted children in care, care leavers and children’s social care for the better, such as ‘The Independent review of Children’s Social Care Report’. In the early months of 2022, national charity ‘Coram Voice’ released a wonderful new report called ‘The Impact of the Covid -19 Pandemic on Care leavers well-being (2022)’ which talks about how the national coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of care experienced people over the UK (United Kingdom).
Data from the Coram Voice publication states that ‘ Despite social distancing, findings showed that care leavers still had emotional support in the pandemic but only 5% of care experienced people didn’t have anyone for support, which the data remained similar to the pre-pandemic survey’ (Coram Voice , 2022), that was undertaken between 2017-2019. As someone who has helped out on this report and a care leaver who has gone through the pandemic, just like many of you who are reading this blog, the pandemic impacted many of us in many different ways, such as the amount of online support that we got from our personal advisors to the food packages that we got delivered to us when we ran out of food and money when we lived independently or even when we were in higher education or university, or even the help with technology such as getting laptops and tablets to help us with online learning and online working, along with getting help with getting home broadband and mobiles to help us stay in contact with friends and family if we couldn’t or if we didn’t have access to any of it.
Even though we are now nearly over a year since the national lockdown ended, the nature and result of the support that we got during the pandemic, are still being acknowledged, as for a lot of us it was a major and hard time for us to live through, but the support that we all got from our social workers and personal advisors, in my opinion, was secondary to none, as they always put our welfare and wellbeing before anything just to make sure that we are well and that we are coping being locked away from our friends and loved ones.
Furthermore, within many different local authorities, the biggest change that has happened this year and even in some just before the beginning of 2022, the activation and announcement of the local offer was implemented in lots of local authorities which included the implantation of support for children in care and care leavers who are moving into independent living, Education, Employment and Training and even those who are going into university, but the biggest thing that has happened, is some local authorities giving a pot of funds to care leavers and children in care to help with wellbeing to allow them to do stuff that would be hard to pay for but peers can get when being with parents, such as going to festivals, or having a new computer, or going on a holiday with friends.
It’s sufficient to say, that this year so far once again has been one of the biggest and most impactful years for all of us in care and the social care system alone, but with three months to go until we move into a brand-new year, personally, I wonder how much more positive and impactful changes we can have.
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger