Leah* graduates and believes the Calderdale Leaving Care Team helped her thrive
Leah* was only 4 years old when, along with her two older brothers, she was taken into care. Many of her foster placements broke down and she attended several schools, before moving away to live with her aunt when she was 13 years old. A good student Leah always enjoyed school and aimed high, trying her best to achieve success.
What Prospects did
Although she was no longer living in Calderdale after year 8 she continued to be supported by Calderdale Council's Looked After Children Team, ensuring they were there for her whenever she needed them.
When the time came for her to leave school, the team helped Leah and her carers with her move to university, helping with applications, statements and housing. The team even took Leah shopping for all the necessities she required to start her new independent life so she was fully equipped to start her new life.
Leah always envisaged going to university, however, there were times in her life when doubted she would achieve her goal. Luckily with support from her foster carers and Calderdale Leaving Care Team, Leah's dreams became a reality and she was encouraged to go to university. Leah got help when she felt confused about which college to go to, what to study and which path to follow and feels if it wasn't for Calderdale's leaving care team, from setting her up to start with and for supporting her throughout, she would not have completed her university studies.
Leah commented: "Calderdale's team is full of friendly people who are very supportive in my experience. Rather than an active support and guidance, it was more of a safety net for me. I consider this just as helpful as I am quite driven and ambitious and can thrive knowing I have support behind me. Malcolm, my pathway worker was with me through some difficult times and I will always be appreciative and thankful to have been allocated such a lovely, caring man. He managed to put things into perspective better than anyone."
Outcomes and results
Leah has now graduated and is now considering a career in social work, with the intention of making a difference to others. Leah feels this is because of her own experiences and how "Calderdale did not let me slip through the net; instead they helped me to thrive."
* Not the care leavers real names