Building on the Care Leavers’ Emotional Wellbeing project, this zine was co-created with care-experienced young people to voice their thoughts, feelings and responses to the original research.
The zine was put together following a creative workshop with care-experienced young people, researchers and practitioners in May 2023, facilitated by Lu Williams. The zine builds upon our work on Care Leavers’ Emotional Wellbeing, a project conducted by What Works for Children’s Social Care, which aimed to find out more about the support available to care leavers in England with regard to their wellbeing. During the workshop, the young people were encouraged to use a range of materials to respond to the report. The zine aims to depict their thoughts and feelings on the research and recommendations, and the images displayed throughout were created or chosen by the young people for this purpose.
The full report, published in May 2023, looked at the services available across local authorities, and the barriers and facilitators to accessing these services. We found considerable variation in service provision across local authorities in England, and identified a number of key barriers to access, including high thresholds for acceptance into services, and services that did not recognize or account for diversity, care leavers’ experiences and internalised stigma. Personal Advisers were found to be central both in terms of providing support, and enabling care leavers to access support, and services which were designed specifically for care leavers were generally preferred. The results of the study suggest that local authorities should seek to improve the consistency and diversity of their support offer, and should place a focus on both emotional wellbeing and practical support. Alongside this, the level of monitoring in this area should be increased, and more work should be done to evaluate emotional wellbeing services for care leavers.