Local Offer for Care Leavers
All local authorities in England must produce a local offer for care leavers that is supposed to help them move into adulthood, so they become the best version of themselves. The legalisation brought responsibilities onto district councils and combined authorities which they did not have before.
Councils in England that have a social services department have corporate parenting responsibilities, but until these new laws other local authorities did not have any specific responsibilities. In the 2-tier areas which amount to nearly half of the population, it is extremely difficult to get agreement. The lack of agreement means that our care leavers have a harder time.
In 2018/19 Terry Galloway along with the 8 councils of Nottinghamshire created the first joint care leaver local offer. In Nottinghamshire there are 7 district councils that have these new responsibilities. They provide housing, economic development, bin collections, leisure and council tax collection. It is often argued that these types of councils are decentralised and closest to the community.
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.
“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)”