10,000 young people aged over 16 leave care each year in the UK, a third before their 18th birthday, compared to the general population where 50% are still living with their parents at 24. A half of care-leavers believe they are made to do so too early and say they receive very poor preparation and support for the challenges of adult life.
In response to this, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will spend over £2 million a year for at least five years to support young people leaving care to sustain healthy relationships and to receive more consistent and high quality support from the state.
The aim is to:
- Ensure care leavers are more easily able to form healthy relationships that help them make a successful transition to adulthood.
- Ensure young people leaving care receive a consistently high standard of statutory support that has been informed by their views.
Through funding and non-financial support, the Foundation wishes to see care leavers supported by the system and by their networks to feel emotionally stable and be financially secure, ultimately making a successful transition to independence.
Funding is available to support charitable work in the following areas:
- Work that develops long lasting, supportive relationships for young people in and leaving care.
- Work that has a positive impact on the support that care leavers receive from their local authority and other statutory services.
There is no minimum or maximum level of grant and no specified length of time for funding. In 2015, the Foundation’s median average grant was £100,000 over three years. Most support is likely to be in the form of grants, but requests for social investments will be considered.
Applications are accepted from organisations carrying out charitable work to support young care leavers. The Foundation provides funding for a range of organisations, but in practice the majority or organisations funded will be registered charities or non-profit organisations.