University signs Care Leavers Covenant

18 January 2022

Package of support unveiled to build skills, confidence and resilience

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has signed a national Government-led pledge to provide a comprehensive package of support for care leavers which is designed to ensure they have the best opportunity to reach their educational potential.

The Care Leavers Covenant is a promise made by the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them move from local authority care to living independently.

For many young people, the transition to adulthood is a time of excitement and possibility as they gradually build skills to prepare them for the future. However, for those in care, their 18th birthday is often a time of uncertainty as they leave the care system into a life of independence.

While some ongoing financial and pastoral support is provided by local authorities, at 18, care leavers are expected to support themselves financially, budget effectively and set up homes for themselves - all without the security of stable family support to fall back on.

In signing the Care Leavers Covenant the University has developed a comprehensive offer which will support care leavers throughout their higher education journey. This includes a £1K per annum bursary, contextualised admissions including experience of care as a consideration, a University starter pack for all care-experienced students in UCLan-owned accommodation, £500 transition to employment/further study bursary and a named contact to provide support and guidance.

Pradeep Passi, UCLan’s Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “UCLan is delighted to sign the Care Leavers Covenant which builds on the additional support we already provide in this area. Our pledge formally lays out our commitment to current and prospective care leaver students as well as care experienced people in our wider community.

“Education is one of the key areas identified as improving the lives of care leavers, so we have pledged to provide greater opportunities for them to access higher education and build the skills, confidence and resilience to flourish and improve their life chances.”

The full details of the University’s Care Leavers Covenant can be found here.