What is drive Forward?

What they say

  • “Drive Forward actually does something. Some of the other services… they mean well but don’t always help you in the way you need. At Drive Forward people help you fill in forms and apply for jobs but they also call you just to see how you are; it’s those little things that make a difference.”

    Zohera, 18
  • “Drive Forward actually does something. Some of the other services… they mean well but don’t always help you in the way you need. At Drive Forward people help you fill in forms and apply for jobs but they also call you just to see how you are; it’s those little things that make a difference.”

    Zohera, 18
  • “Drive Forward actually does something. Some of the other services… they mean well but don’t always help you in the way you need. At Drive Forward people help you fill in forms and apply for jobs but they also call you just to see how you are; it’s those little things that make a difference.”

    Zohera, 18
  • “Drive Forward actually does something. Some of the other services… they mean well but don’t always help you in the way you need. At Drive Forward people help you fill in forms and apply for jobs but they also call you just to see how you are; it’s those little things that make a difference.”

    Zohera, 18
  • “Drive Forward actually does something. Some of the other services… they mean well but don’t always help you in the way you need. At Drive Forward people help you fill in forms and apply for jobs but they also call you just to see how you are; it’s those little things that make a difference.”

    Zohera, 18

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A team on a mission

We are a charity. We are mentors. We are a listening ear. We are business partners. And we are here to give young care leavers between the ages of 17 and 25 every opportunity to take charge of their futures and live fulfilling lives.


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:

Education

Only 15% of looked after children achieve 5 A*-C grade GCSEs and only 6% will enter higher education, compared to about 23% nationally. As a result, 34% of care leavers aged 19 and over are not in education, employment or training.[1]

 

 
[1] Source: Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England, as at 31 March 2013 (Department for Education)

Housing

37% of young people aged 19[1] are in independent living arrangements, often without any support. And 25% of people homeless on the streets have a care background.[2]

 

 

[1] Source: Statistical Briefing:  Looked after children and care leavers 2013 DoE September 2013
[2] Source: CRISIS: The hidden truth about homelessness

Offending

Though children in care represent only 1% of all children, they represent 40% of people in custody under the age of 21. Nearly a quarter of the adult prison population has been in the care system.[1]

 

 

[1] Source: Who Cares Trust 

Health

Girls in and leaving care are at high risk of pregnancy, with 25% having a child by the age of 16. And young care leavers often enter the system with a poorer level of physical and mental health than their peers. Two thirds of looked after children will have at least one physical health complaint and nearly 50% will have a mental health disorder.[1]

We’re here to break the negative stereotype of what a care leaver is and show every one of them their potential to be successful and valuable members of society.

 

 

[1] Source: National Care Advisory Service (2009) Introduction to Leaving Care

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