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Our focus is on improving opportunities and outcomes for looked-after children in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. 'Looked-after children' is the term for those children cared for by local authorities whether they are placed in children's homes, fostered or adopted. Some live with relatives under social workers' supervision. Over half have acquired looked-after status following abuse or neglect.
Looked-after children are many times more likely than other children to underachieve at school; to be NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training); to be in serious trouble with school or the law or to face problems with drugs and alcohol later in life.
We work with our partners in schools, the community and the local authority and, above all, with looked-after children, young people and their carers to identify needs and aspirations which cannot otherwise be met.
Our approach is to fund existing projects, such as the 'Letterbox' literacy scheme, and to invite applications for grants from our Enrichment Fund from young people leaving care who need some help getting started in education, training, an apprenticeship or work. We are working with other voluntary sector partners on developing a mentoring scheme for looked-after children and care leavers.
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