Prince's Trust aids care-leavers

CLAIRE SAMES

The Prince's Trust has put £2 million into a mentoring scheme for young people in or leaving care.

The announcement follows research undertaken by the trust, which found that three out of four "care-leavers

lack basic life skills.

The Care-Leaver Mentoring Programme offers support and advice for young people and is run by matching a young person with a mentor, who will help them through the difficult transition from care to independent living.

By offering individual mentors to each young person, they can work together on personal goals including gaining new skills, developing hobbies or finding a job.

The cash injection over three years, which has come from public- and private-sector fundraising, will also help to broaden support to care-leavers through other trust programmes, as well as building basic skills screening.

The research entitled The Way It Is: Care Leavers by the Prince's Trust showed that a large amount of care-leavers have experienced school exclusion and around 50 per cent have no qualifications.

The research revealed that 10 per cent of care-leavers said they hardly ever attended school and 34 per cent did not take exams.

While 76 per cent have contact with a family member, only a third have regular contact with their mother and less than 13 per cent with their father. Around 18 per cent said they have no friends, and 38 per cent have been homeless.

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