Care Leavers: Bus Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th February 2018.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing care leavers aged between 18 and 25 with free bus passes to help them find and maintain work.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The cross-government care leaver strategy ‘Keep on Caring’, published in July 2016, set out how we will support care leavers to make a successful transition from care to independence. Through the Children and Social Work Act, we are; introducing corporate parenting principles that will govern the way in which local authorities deliver services to children in care and care leavers; introducing a new duty on local authorities to consult on and publish a ‘local offer’ for care leavers; and extending support from a Personal Adviser to all care leavers to age 25.

We believe, however, that central government departments, other public bodies and private and voluntary sector organisations also have a role to play in helping care leavers to make a successful transition to adulthood; and we are developing a ‘care leaver covenant’ which will provide a way for organisations from all sectors to make a commitment to offer support to care leavers.

We recognise that many care leavers struggle to cope with the financial challenges of living independently at a young age and that support to meet transport costs would help care leavers to engage in education, employment and training. In developing the care leaver covenant, we will explore with the Department of Transport and private bus and rail companies the scope to secure free or discounted travel for care leavers.

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