New website launched to help Londonderry care leavers live independently

A NEW website has been launched to help young care leavers in Londonderry live independently.

Developed with the help of care leavers offers tips and advice on a range of issues which young adults need to deal with such as health and wellbeing, housing and finances, education, training and employment.

Six young people worked on the project with the support of Purpledot, a digital media company based in Dungannon, and in doing so, three of them achieved NVQ Level 2 Use Digital and Social Media in Marketing Campaigns.

Along with , the Health and Social Care Board has introduced

Aimed at staff, policy makers, carers and the community and voluntary sector, this website gives ready access to a range of materials and information on leaving care issues in Northern Ireland.

Tony Rodgers, Assistant Director, Children and Families, for the Health and Social Care Board said: “Since the introduction of leaving care legislation in 2005 an increasing focus and emphasis has been placed on the delivery of a range of leaving care services, developed in partnership with a number of critical partners.

“The shared aim is ensure that our young people leaving care are better supported and assisted to make the transition into adulthood so that they will experience stability and a positive sense of well being in their future lives.

“The creation of a leaving care website is a further measure of local efforts to promote and assist learning, improve understanding of the needs and challenges faced by young people in and leaving care and enhance the knowledge of those who deliver, directly support or contribute to services for care leavers by giving easy access to up to date information, local resources and services, research, policy and publications in this specialist area of provision. It is incumbent on all of us to keep abreast of latest information and research in the field of leaving and after care so that we can better support the young people in our care as they make the journey into adulthood.”

Kieran Downey, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services for the Western Trust said: “Moving into adulthood is a challenging experience for all young people and for young people in care there can be additional pressures.

“This website is an excellent resource to help young people to make the transition from care to independence.

“It will complement the support of our 16 plus teams by offering practical information on a range of very real issues that we all have to deal with in adult life.

“What makes this website more valuable is that it was designed by young people for young people and they should be commended for developing such a professional resource and for sharing their experiences and knowledge to benefit others.”