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Could more foster care leavers get to University?

Only 6% of 18-year-old care leavers go to University, a shocking percentage when you considered that nearly 28% of all 18-year-olds were offered a university place by UCAS in August 2018*.

Five Rivers actively encourages its foster carers to challenge negative views and set up visits to University open days to discover a world of opportunity for their looked after children; this can include special finance packages to reduce debt from both fees and maintenance costs.

Karen B. is a foster carer with experience of what it’s like to help a care leaver start Uni. She is very much in touch with her former foster child, Ella aged 20,  through the ‘Staying Put’** scheme and has helped her to access bursaries to study Psychology at University, with plenty of practical and moral support from Five Rivers. She says,

“My social worker, Steph, was really good – she helped us visit University for a couple of days by arranging care for our other foster child. She also organised for Ella and me to do some mental health support training together to help Ella overcome any problems she might face.”

Karen says that both Ella’s college in Bristol and the University itself were “Absolutely amazing’ and ‘Brilliant’ and that Ella has made friends and settled in well.

Would you like to help a young person turn their life around? We are interested to hear from warm and caring people with a passion for helping young people like Ella. Find out more about fostering with Five Rivers

*Source: UCAS:  Record Percentage of Young People are at University

**The ‘Staying Put’ scheme gives fostered young people in England the right to stay with their foster families when they reach 18 if both parties agree. Placements can be kept open if the young person is going to university.

Note: names have been altered.

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