There are about 80,000 children in care in England, with some 10,000 aged 16-18 years olds branching out on their own every year. The Drive Forward Foundation supports care-experienced young people into careers as they leave care.

Drive Forward want to make sure that care leavers have the support they need to stand confidently on their own two feet and not be thwarted by low expectations of what they can achieve.

Miranda Reilly is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Drive Forward Foundation. Miranda works with employers to create a pathway for care-experienced young people to move into employment; from insight sessions and mentoring, to ring-fenced internship opportunities.

Josephate Kamuna-Makaya is Corporate Opportunities Coordinator at Drive Forward. Josephate gathers feedback from young people on corporate engagement and mentoring initiatives. He is care experienced and uses his experience to connect with the young people he works with.

In this session from the Children in Care 2021: Improving Outcomes for Looked-After Children conference we heard from Miranda and Josephate. They discussed Drive Forward’s strategies for giving young care-leavers a leg up into a career. They highlighted the value of one-to-one mentorship and partnership opportunities with industry. They also discussed the care leaver internship programme that they have developed in partnership with The Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust Partnership.

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When young people leave care, they often struggle to access employment. We heard from The Drive Forward Foundation about the need for one-to-one careers mentorship for care leavers. They presented a new internship, developed with the The Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust Partnership, specifically designed to support care leavers.

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