Brand new app to support care leavers into learning and work

20 October 2015

In 2013-14, 41% of 19-year-old care leavers were not in education, employment or training (NEET) compared to only 15% of their age peers. A brand new app to inspire and help young adult care leavers to find learning and work has been launched today by NIACE, to mark National Care Leavers’ Week (21 – 28 October).


Nicola Aylward, Head of Learning for Young People at NIACE, said:


“In his party conference speech two weeks ago, the Prime Minister said that children and young people growing up in care are ‘almost guaranteed to live in poverty’. He also pointed out that 84% leave school without five good GCSEs, 70% of prostitutes have been in care and care leavers are four times more likely to commit suicide than anyone else.


“Whilst outcomes for young people leaving care are shockingly poor, the Prime Minister’s pledge to turn the situation around is commendable. With the right support in place and through sheer determination, care leavers can and do overcome adversity. Our Inspire Me! app is a significant step towards supporting these young people. It’s a platform for care leavers’ voices and will inspire other young people in similar situations.”


The Inspire Me! app has been developed by care leavers, for care leavers. It enables former care leavers who are now living independently and learning or working, to share their positive stories. Users can upload their own stories and build up a bank of their favourites for future reference and inspiration. The app is available for free download on all devices from the app store and iTunes. It can also be accessed online at http://inspire-me-live.herokuapp.com/.


Some of the young adult care leavers involved in developing the app said:


“Care leavers have provided their stories and experiences…to help inspire, advise and mentor young people to make decisions that are right for them” – Heidi Street


“People in care can look at the things other people have written…so they can understand what they can do to get where they want to get to” – Davut Tanir


“If I was going back to college and I was in that same position where I didn’t know what I wanted to do…. I could go on the app and read other people’s stories. It could help me through who I can gain support from, what to actually do and to hear someone else’s experience of what they’ve been through” – Roxanne Leighton