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Family Rights Group
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Published: 25th October 2023

4 minute read

As we celebrate National Care Leavers’ Week, we are reaffirming our commitment to supporting care-experienced children and young people with the launch of a new campaign, Build Not Break.

Our campaign aims to ensure all care-experienced children and young people have positive, loving relationships they can rely on into adulthood

Lifelong Links, an approach we designed with young people, is proven to build a support network around children and young people. 

We are calling on Government to make Lifelong Links and offer for all children and young people in care, and care leavers, across the UK.

Watch our new film which explains more:

The process of being taken into care often breaks important relationships with family and friends. Laura, a care leaver, told us:

One of the things that they did when I went into care permanently was any connections with anyone in my family, except my grandparents, were just cut off altogether 

In the short term, having a support network around them can help children and young people in care cope with daily challenges. Bradley, a young person who has taken part in Lifelong Links, said:

I had no contact for 16 years with my dad’s family at all. Now I can ring up and go round for a cup of tea and it’s like I’ve always known them. So to me, Lifelong Links has been one of the best programmes.  

Over the longer term, we know that young people rely on strong support networks for emotional and practice support as they become adults.  

Currently 32 local authorities in the UK are offering a Lifelong Links service to children and young people.  Over 2300 children and young people have benefited to date. There are over 100,000 children and young people in care across the UK.

Will you support our campaign for all care experienced children and young people to be offered Lifelong Links?

Use our campaign tool below to send a message to your elected representatives. Start by entering your postcode.

Cathy Ashley, Family Rights Group’s Chief Executive, said:  

Cathy_Ashley“During the Lifelong Links process, a trained coordinator works with children and young people to find and safely connect with relatives and others who care about them. This could include brothers and sisters, school friends, former foster carers, teachers, or even pets.  

“Multiple evaluations show that this approach, developed by Family Rights Group, can make a significant positive impact on outcomes for children and young people, with stronger support networks resulting in better mental health, more stability and an improved sense of identity. A recent study founds that Lifelong Links reduces the risk of homelessness by 10%.

“Our campaign goal to Government is simple: all care-experienced children and young people should be offered Lifelong Links, and Government needs to fund to make it happen.”

Find out more about Lifelong Links and its lifechanging impact on care-experienced children and young people here.

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