Relationships are vital for everyone and especially important for young people with care experience within education settings. Positive and encouraging relationships are important for young people to get the best out of their education and future. Exploring opportunities for young people with young people rather than for them can help young people feel empowered, heard and informed.
Young people with care experience are not monolithic, we are individuals with individual experiences, needs and desires. The first step in supporting anyone is to understand their story, their behaviours and their wants and needs. It can be difficult to work relationally in education settings – with deadlines and expectations that do not lend to flexibility and child-centred approaches. Understanding the importance of getting to know and supporting people through the lens of who they are rather than who we want them to be, or what we or education institutions expect of them, is vital. In order to fully support young people to explore their next steps and take advantage of their opportunities and feel confident and capable in their abilities
The most important thing is that you are ambitious for the young people that you support. Exploring opportunities outside of formal education is not a failure and it should not be communicated as a lesser option. Ask yourself if you have any assumptions of what someone with a care background can achieve. Be aware that your implicit assumptions will communicate verbally and nonverbally to the young person.
Below are a few links that highlight different opportunities for young people that are not linked to formal education.
For apprenticeships, info can be found here.
You can find further advice and opportunities here.
Volunteer Scotland is a great place to look for volunteering opportunities.
More opportunities and advice can be found here.
For other awards and qualification you can search here.