In your care

The role of philanthropy for children in care and care leavers

There are currently 70,440 children in care in England, and around 10,000 children leave care in England every year. Many children in care have a positive experience and thrive in their new environment. Yet overall children in care have poorer life chances and outcomes than peers living with birth families.

There are a range of charities that provide valuable support and services, alongside the state, to children directly, to their carers and to relevant professionals. But more can be done, and philanthropy—whether from individuals, corporate or trusts and foundations—can play a big part in achieving better outcomes and improved life chances for looked-after children. And we have written this paper as a guide for anyone looking to provide funding and support in this area. In it, we present:

  • key contextual information about the care system
  • profiles of some of the charities and funders already operating in this area
  • five core issue areas where we think funders can improve outcomes for looked-after children: well-being and mental health; relationships; independent living for care leavers; safety and the criminal justice system; education, employment and training

For each of these five issue areas we:

  • outline some of the key challenges for the children and young people involved and how these issues might be improved
  • highlight innovative and interesting practice in each area to provide funders with ideas on how their giving could create impact
  • provide an overview of the different levels at which funders can work, with examples of charities working at each level

If you have any questions about this report, or would like to let us know what you think of it, get in touch via email or Twitter @NPCthinks.