Become has been working to improve the everyday lives and future life chances of children in care and young care leavers since it was established in 1992. Its ambition is that care-experienced people have the same chances as everyone else to live happy, fulfilled lives by helping children in care and young care leavers to believe in themselves and to heal, grow and unleash their potential.
The charity delivers a range of services including: a free, confidential care advice line; a coaching programme; weekly ‘linkup’ sessions; and Propel, a fully searchable website for care leavers that sets out exactly what support and provision almost every university in the UK provides for care leavers.
Become also influences policy and practice, applying pressure to the government to make vital changes to the care system and improve the lives of care experienced young people.
Our research found that professional training for those working with care leavers was a key issue for the sector, and that funding could have a real impact if it supported work that aims to change or improve practice of Personal Advisors who effectively replace Social Workers when young people leave the care system at the age of 18.
Become uses its knowledge of the care system – gained through direct work with young people, research, and its key role as secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers – to identify problems and find solutions to help improve the care system. It is ideally placed to develop and implement a standardised training model for Personal Advisors working with care leavers.
Our 2019 grant of £530,000 (which included an initial £30,000 to develop a theory of change) to Become was for a five-year pilot project to develop a training programme for Personal Advisors who work with young people leaving the care system.