We are the Sheffield Care Leavers' Union.
The Sheffield Care Leavers' Union, or SCLU for short, was set up in December 2016 to help give care leavers a voice. We are a group of young adults who are care leavers from all different backgrounds and different stages who all have the same idea in mind: giving care leavers the best chance of a positive future. The group is made up of care leavers who are aged 18 to 25 years old. We run this group to try and make changes to the care system for young people in care and those leaving care.
SCLU meets every 2 weeks to get care leavers' opinions, discuss ideas and make plans about how we can make changes to the care system and tackle issues that care leavers face in everyday life.
As a group we have decided on four main aims that we want SCLU to focus on. These are:
- To give care leavers a voice and positively influence the care system.
- To unite care leavers and create an environment in which we, as care leavers, have the opportunity to socialise with one another.
- To build a better image of care leavers by helping people understand who we are, standing up for care leavers rights, increasing the opportunities for all care leavers and by acting as role models for all care leavers and children in care.
- To give care leavers the opportunity to build and develop skills which they can use in the future.
Since the group started we have achieved quite a lot:
- We designed our own logo and have developed a Facebook page and our own website,
- Members of SCLU were the first group in Sheffield to attend the Corporate Parenting Board, which is made up of people who make decisions about care leavers. We spoke to the board and explained what issues care leavers face,
- We have taken part in interviews and helped with the recruitment of new social workers and social work students,
- We attended the National Leaving Care Benchmark Forum in Liverpool where we met with other Care Leavers,
- We’ve elected the care leavers and children in care representatives to the Youth Cabinet,
- Members of SCLU completed the “Leading The Way” course run by the Brathay Trust.
- Meet regularly with a representative from the Care Leavers’ Association to contribute to research about care leavers experienced within the EU,
- Worked with the Children in Care Council to create a film name looking at the real life experiences of young people leaving care, what support they needed and where future care leavers can find this support,
- SCLU spoke to the Leaving Care Service to improve how PA's communicate with young people. Since doing this the service has made changes to how workers talk to young people, including group texts and using Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp.
To learn more about what we have been doing, have a look at our Newsletters.
We are currently undertaking a number of projects to try and make leaving care easier and to reduce the barriers and issues faced by care leavers in Sheffield. Take a look at our Projects page for more information.