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Duo urge local authorities to support care leavers

17 September 2020

Spectra and Trowers & Hamlins are urging local authorities to put young people leaving care at the forefront of their procurement plans.  

Spectra, who deliver the Government’s Care Leaver Covenant on behalf of the Department for Education and the international law firm, Trowers & Hamlins, have developed a new Social Value Toolkit that is designed to assist councils in the creation of social value objectives to support care leavers.

The business duo are urging councils to use the toolkit, and sign up to the Care Leaver Covenant in order to create opportunities for young care leavers.

The Care Leaver Covenant, funded by the Department of Education, tackles the disadvantages that young people face when leaving care and helps them to live independently.

The toolkit also provides guidance on the wording councils can use to encourage bidders for local authority contracts to incorporate social value initiatives into their bids.

Stafford Borough Council and Wolverhampton Council were the first in the Midlands Region to champion the Covenant and adopt the toolkit.

Matthew Gordon, chief executive of Spectra, explained: “For young people who have grown up in the care system, leaving care and striking out on their own can be a massively challenging time.

“As corporate parents to care leavers, local authorities have a responsibility to make sure that these young people are as ready for the next stage of their lives as they possibly can be and continue to get support along the way.

“The toolkit will help local authorities take a whole council approach, so it is not just the responsibility of children’s services, but includes their executive officers, social services, community investment, health, housing, corporate services and procurement teams in the creation of social value objectives and to use procurement to increase opportunities available for care leavers.”

Leading energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE is one firm, that conducts council contracts, which has signed up to the Covenant.

ENGIE signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant in 2018, launching a pilot scheme to support care leavers in Leeds.  This programme has now being extended in Birmingham and the Black Country.

ENGIE also operates workshops and helps with decorating, home maintenance, DIY, garden clearance and cookery classes for care leavers moving into their own home for the first time. 

To find out more about Social Value Toolkit and how local authorities and the supply chain can support care leavers through procurement, please contact localgov@mycovenant.org.uk.

Pictured: Jermaine Freeman, who was provided with  home maintenance support ENGIE’s programme, and Mark Bush, social value manager at ENGIE

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