The New Belongings Project held its final event marking the end of the three year project at London's CIty Hall on 8th July 2016. The Project in its initial incarnation has ended, but the New Belongings legacy lives on. In fact the journey has only just begun.29 Local Authorities have travelled with us thus far along thier own New Belongings paths and 150 delegates gathered to hear about the methodology, the achievments and the  future of New Belongings. The ideas, the challenges, the learning, and the determination to do things differently and better, for and with care leavers, will be carried forward with all those who have been involved. And for those who have been inspired by, and want to make use of this learning, the 'how to' of New Belongings has now been published in the form of a Guide; "New Belongings - A Guide to the New Belongings Approach" is publicly available for all to use and more about the project can be found on the new belongings website
New Belongings  has worked with 29 local authorities across England to bring the principles and concepts of Access All Areas and the Charter for Care Leavers down to a local level; the aim was to embed these into local services and communities and reduce the sense of long term isolation often expressed by care leavers.
The First Phase of New Belongings began in May 2013 with ten local authorities involved, and in March 2015 Children's Minister Edward Timpson announced a furhter twelve months of funding to enable an additional 21 Local Authorities to join the New Belongings project. read full details In April the new New Belongigns authoities joined the original cohort to embark on their New Belongings journeys, and in May 2015 Traffod's Ofsted report saw its serivces for care leavers rated  outstanding, acknowledging the part New Belongings had played in attaining this standard. Read full report and press release

Why New Belongings? 
Change for care leavers has fallen short of the improvements hoped for though previous attempts to improve services (2000, 2008) and the current Children and Families Bill  has  missed the opportunity to strengthen legislation for care leavers. However many of the issues which continue to trouble care leavers as well as those delivering services to them, are about interpretation and implementation, not legislation. New Belongings looks at how local authorities can better create services which are fully integrated, easily accessed, and which respect care leavers as individuals, developing young adults and full members of community and society.

When we hear care leavers using terms like ‘segregated’ to describe their experience of life after care this shames us all. The New Belongings vision for fast forward change aims to bring Access All Areas and The Care Leavers’ Charter directly into local authorities. With care leavers forming an integral part of delivery, the New Belongings team will assist five participating authorities to work on creating synergies, joining up local systems and developing a community of interest around care leavers which enables them to participate fully in their communities and become a genuinely valued part of society. We would like to see positive outcomes from this small initial project permeate regionally and nationally for a real change in the experience of young adults growing up after care.

The success of New Belongings has been be through the passion and leadership of local champions in local authorities and in the wider community; the vital additional ingredients   which will ensure the success of this project are care leavers themselves in the role of trained and supported consultants, spokespeople and mentors.

We know that there is a great deal of goodwill, untapped potential, and desire to improve the lives of vulnerable care leavers in every local authority; we don’t pretend to have all the answers; to be genuine and lasting change has to spring from local knowledge and resources. The New Belongings team will not bring all the answers, it will help local authorities to ask the right questions and assist them to develop solutions that really can create new belongings for care leavers.
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