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Drive Forward calls for urgent government action on mental health

Drive Forward is calling on the Government to take urgent action to tackle the unacceptably high levels of mental health disorders among young people leaving the care system.

In a submission to the Government’s Independent Review into Children’s Social Care, we are calling for there to be at least one NHS-funded mental health practitioner in every local authority in England to provide bespoke support to care leavers.

Join Our Team – Strategic Partnerships Director

Exciting new job opportunity at Drive Forward!

The Strategic Partnerships Director is part of the senior management team at Drive Forward Foundation overseeing the Corporate Engagement and Mentoring team. The aim of the Corporate Engagement and Mentoring team is to build a pipeline to sustained and fulfilling employment for care-experienced young people through ring-fenced employment opportunities and a range of other activities including career insight sessions, work experience, internship opportunities and access to a professional mentor.

The Strategic Partners Director is responsible for developing a team strategy that is in line with the overall organisations strategy and to line manage the Head of Corporate Engagement and Head of Mentoring. They are also responsible for building and maintaining relationships with employers as well as developing new and innovative ways of working.

Do you have at least 2 years experience of managing a programme; building strategic partnerships and successfully sourced employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups? If so we want to hear from you!

Click here to read the full job specification!

Join our team – Employment Consultant

We are looking for an experienced Employment Consultant with an extensive knowledge of working with care-experienced young people (16-24) to guide and support young people in their professional development to help them reach their full potential.

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate a real passion for making a difference to the lives of our clients. They will possess the ability to build trusting relationships quickly, to broaden horizons, and encourage young people to be aspirational. They will have previous experience of designing and delivering employment based group activities and will be experts in working on a 1-2-1 basis with a diverse client group.

They will be adept at a wide range of career engagement activity and able to skilfully communicate the benefits of each career to their clients. This role will also require resilience, a belief that there is always a way forward and an innovative approach to youth engagement.

Join our team – Communications Officer

Working alongside the Director of Fundraising & Communications, you will play a pivotal role in bringing our charity’s communications up to the next level!

In your role, you’ll be collaborating with the whole of our team, creating interesting and engaging content to help raise awareness, find new partners, and enable more care-experienced young people to achieve their full potential.

This a very varied role in which you’ll have the opportunity to learn and improve your skills across content production (blogging, social media, videos, podcast) as well as managing multiple social media channels, and occasional press work.

Children’s mental health problems don’t disappear at 18, and nor should support.

Last week, organisations across the UK took part in Children’s Mental Health Week: an initiative that has been running since 2015. Sadly, we know that children in care are particularly at risk of poor mental health. Almost half of children in care have a diagnosable mental health disorder (compared to 10% of the general child population) and two-thirds have …

Children’s mental health problems don’t disappear at 18, and nor should support. Read More »

Good Mental Health – not a luxury, but a right

Unfortunately, poor mental health is very common among the care-experienced population and can make life even more difficult for them. Things such as employment, personal care and wellbeing, or independent living are much harder to maintain when struggling with one’s mental health. There are already specialised services for care leavers such as housing officers and personal advisers, and it’s time we matched this provision with specialised mental health services too.

Currently, we are focusing on gaining more insight into the different experiences of care leavers and collecting their suggestions, ideas, and innovations to create a more comprehensive picture of what a well-functioning mental health service provision for care-experienced people would look like.

Belonging in the Workplace

According to a recent report conducted by Coram Voice on challenging stigma in the care system, 1 in 10 care leavers felt that, as a care leaver, they have been treated worse than their contemporaries. This has been reflected in conversations with individuals we work with at Drive Forward, many of whom are frustrated by hearing the same negative statistics and stories in the media and by professionals working in the care system. This can have an impact on how individuals see themselves as well as how they are treated in the workplace. The most common reason that individuals who we work with leave their jobs is that they feel isolated from their colleagues, different and undervalued. 

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