The Joint Local Offer for Care Leavers

Local Government is incredibly complicated for those who are delivering services to young people and care leavers. Especially if you live and work in a 2 – tier area. There are 26 of those types of areas across England.

They are different because the the lower tier are responsible for things like housing, leisure centers parks and collecting waste, the upper tier is responsible for things like roads, schools, social care and getting rid of waste.

In Nottinghamshire we have one upper tier council that is responsible for social care and 7 councils that are responsible for housing and leisure. Each one of those councils have to create a local offer for our care leavers.

It just made sense to me to create one offer and one policy, luckily the Chief Executives agreed so we created the first joint offer in England. Some of the policies we created such as council tax exemption and free leisure for care leavers, abolishment of local connection rules in housing and the use of DHP to top up the shared room rate for care leavers. (the government later implemented this policy nationwide)

Thank you so much?

These are some of the chief executives of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Councils. A special thanks have to go out to John Robinson from Newark and Sherwood District Council, Ruth Hyde from Broxtowe Borough Council, Anthony May, Colin Petigrew and Steve Edwards Service Director for Children and Families for putting up with me pushing and pushing and still pushing.

Rob Mitchel who is 3rd from the left was the Chief executive of Ashfield District Council. He moved over to Charnwood Borough Council in Leicestershire and teamed up with Jane Toman chief Executive of Blaby District Council to deliver the 2nd Joint Local Offer in England involving 9 Councils. We did the same in Derbyshire with another 9 Councils.

Without these inspirational leaders who care about their communities none of this would have happened. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

The Business Breakfast?

Employment is one of the most important parts to the Local Offer so we organised a business breakfast at Nottinghamshire County Football ground and over 50 businesses turned up. We talked about how much our care leavers have to offer.

We were so lucky to have the support of the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Sir John Peace. He is the founder of Experian, was chairman of Burbery and Standard Chartered Bank. As I was talking to the businesses he kept interrupting to say that what I was saying was right.

That Care Leavers and those furthest from the labor market actually do a better job, stay with the company and if given the chance become really loyal.

Sir John knows there is a business case for creating opportunities. That day we had over 70 pledges from businesses wanting to be part of it.