Helping people find their normal
Since the beginning, it’s been our aim to make a difference in the lives of young care leavers. Regardless of background and circumstances, we’re here to help them make some momentum, find their way in the world and realise their individual potential.
WHY WE DO IT
We all remember the day we leave home. It’s a heady mix of excitement and apprehension at striking out in the adult world alone. But the trouble is, some of us are exactly that – alone – without the safety net of mum and dad, or gran and grandad to help dish out a little bit of advice, some support or even just a hug.
There are over 83,000 children in care in the UK, with 10,000 aged 16-18 branching out on their own in 2013 . And we’re determined to make sure that they have the support and help they need to stand confidently on their own two feet and not be thwarted by low expectations of what they can actually achieve.
Why we can’t sit still
The importance of the work we do at Drive Forward is even clearer when you consider the impact on the lives of young people if we didn’t do anything:
WHERE WE CAME FROM
The origins of Drive Forward date back to 1993 and the organisation Partners in Hope, which was established to tackle the problems faced by young people leaving institutional care in Russia. At that time, only 10% of orphaned care leavers went on to get a job and lead a normal family life.
But it soon became clear that this cycle was not unique to Russia and large numbers of young care leavers in the UK were also affected – despite the more developed social care system and charity ‘safety net’.
So in 2010, after months of carrying out research on the challenges facing young care leavers in the UK, we launched our first employment training and personal development programme in London. As it emerged that more fundamental training and holistic support was required, Drive Forward was launched to provide more practical and emotional support to care leavers, helping them develop key skills, confidence and motivation for work, education or training.
That was in 2012 and we haven’t looked back since, inspiring, motivating and supporting hundreds of young care leavers as they make their momentum.