14 April 2016

Young people leaving care in Northamptonshire can now benefit from a range of support services with the launch of a new drop-in centre.

Russell House in Northampton provides advice and support for children in care once they reach the age of 16 to help them with the next stage of their life.

Russel house staff and care leavers

Children's rights

Northamptonshire County Council’s Leaving Care team will be based at the centre alongside the Children’s Rights service to help young people find work, training or education.

Care leavers will also be encouraged to use Russell House as a drop-in centre to socialise with other young people who have been in care, and there are kitchen, shower and laundry facilities on site which can be used by young people waiting to be found accommodation and those seeking asylum who have recently arrived in the country.

Becoming independent

At the launch of the centre on Thursday (April 7th), county council cabinet member for learning and families Cllr Matthew Golby said: “It’s very important to us that when a young person leaves care at the age of 16, they are not left without support but are offered advice and guidance as they learn to become independent.

“Russell House is a fantastic community-based project that brings together the Leaving Care team and the Children’s Rights service to act as a one-stop shop for care leavers.

“They can speak to a personal advisor, meet other young people who have been in care and take part in workshops with our partner agencies about issues such as healthy living and education.

“The centre also offers washing and cooking facilities for young asylum seekers and they’ll be able to access legal advice from a solicitor offering weekly appointments.

“Our long-term plan is to work with young people to expand the opportunities available at Russell House and continue to develop the service.”

To find out more about the support available for care leavers, visit Young Northants.