Become’s mission is to help children in care and young care leavers believe in themselves – to heal, grow and unleash their potential.
‘Care’ should provide young people the opportunity to take a breath in a safe environment. But many enter care feeling overwhelmed and isolated, only to be let down by the system that should look after them.
They struggle to get the support they’re legally entitled to, having to fight for a safe roof over their heads, for clothes, bedding, and necessities.
Children in care rarely get favours or leg-ups. When they succeed it is often despite the system, not because of it.
Today, there are over 100,000 children in care in the UK but simply not enough places for them to live. Some children are moved multiple times each year, having to build new relationships, change schools, without the stability of a place to call home.
Most young people in care have suffered trauma in their family homes, losing any safety net and the life opportunities that brings. Many say they enter care feeling overwhelmed and isolated, only to be let down by the system that should look after them.
Too many young people are expected to leave care at 18, a time in their life when they need stability the most. Some have described that time as a “cliff edge” or “like being on death row.”
The result is a society where care-experienced people are overrepresented amongst people experiencing homelessness and within the criminal justice system.
Become offers a holistic range of support for young people:
1) Their Care Advice Line supports young people to overcome often complex challenges, ranging from financial struggle, accessing higher education, housing and homelessness, to mental health concerns.
2) Many care-experienced young people experience isolation and loneliness. Become’s weekly Link-Ups offer a safe space where young people can come together, develop community, and have fun.
3) The care system can often make achieving the things young people want in life difficult. Become’s Coaching programme helps young people plan to reach their goals– getting into university, passing exams, or maintaining health and happiness.
All this alongside workshops, programmes to support through college and university and providing a network to campaign for change.
Ty was first taken into care when he was 15 and, like many teenagers, aspired to play football professionally.
For many children, entering care can be hugely disruptive to their education. The instability of moving to a new home, with new people, and potentially a new school, means that many leave education without the qualifications they want in the future.
Watch Ty telling his own story of working with Become: