Topic briefing

Care experienced students and looked after children

Last updated: 31 January 2022


Below are some examples of how providers have supported outcomes for care leavers and looked-after children which you may find helpful when developing your own approaches. Some of these approaches may not yet be fully evaluated.

We will update this page with more examples of effective practice as we identify them. If you have, or are aware of, examples of effective practice in this area please contact [email protected].

Support at the University of York

The university is putting the following support in place for care experienced students:

  • free year-round accommodation on campus for the duration of the course
  • suitable luggage to move to university and living essentials in accommodation (for example kitchen and bedding packs)
  • storage space for belongings for students on placement
  • specific packaged placements, ring-fenced for care experienced students, which include payment, accommodation, travel expenses and support
  • a rent guarantor scheme.

The university is also signing up for the Care Leaver Covenant.

Read more in the university’s access and participation plan

Home comforts programme by the Sussex Learning Network

The Sussex Learning Network, part of our Uni Connect programme, has developed a programme called 'Home comforts'.

They are working in collaboration with local authorities, higher education providers and foster carers to link care leavers with a local family during their time at university. This helps to provide an extra support network for care leavers, particularly during points of the year where they may be at university while others have gone ‘home’ such as Christmas, weekends and Easter.

Read more about the 'Home comforts' programme

Life skills by LiNCHigher

LiNCHigher is part of our Uni Connect programme based in Lincolnshire. The partnership is working with the Caring2Learn team in Lincolnshire County Council on a ten week programme designed to develop the life skills of children in care.

The programme will run three times up until September 2020 and will be run by two placement support workers from within the fostering team.

Support from Greater Manchester Higher

The Uni Connect Greater Manchester Higher partnership has worked with providers to deliver the following projects for care leavers:

  • Step up to uni: A VIP open day for young people who are care experienced and considering applying to university. It aimed to increase the understanding of the pastoral and financial support which can be accessed from local universities and local authorities. 
  • Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards: Delivered in conjunction with the Greater Manchester local authorities, the annual Care Leaver Awards celebrates and rewards the achievements and success of care leavers from across Greater Manchester.
  • Sucess4Life project (years 8-10): This project brings together looked after young people to take part in interactive sessions to develop their confidence and key skills, and raise awareness of higher education.

Care to Go Higher programme by Go Higher West Yorkshire

Care to Go Higher, developed by the Go Higher West Yorkshire Uni Connect partnership with Leeds City Council, provides an innovative training programme to key influencers of care experienced young people, to equip and allow them to support care experienced young people to make informed choices about higher education.

Published 27 July 2020

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