Goodwill appoints national care leaver adviser

By Neil Puffett

| 04 September 2017

A new adviser to support young people leaving the care system has been appointed by children's minister Robert Goodwill.

Goodwill said Riddell will help the drive to improve the experiences and outcomes of care leavers across the country. Picture: DfE

Mark Riddell has been appointed as the national implementation adviser for care leavers, and will work closely with local authorities as they drive forward the new duties introduced through the Children & Social Work Act 2017 which became law in April this year.

The role includes helping councils to develop a stronger local offer of support for care leavers, offering personal adviser services for all care leavers up to age 25 and delivering on their special responsibilities as a corporate parent - principles set out in the legislation.

Riddell was previously leaving care manager in Trafford, the first local authority judged by Ofsted to have "outstanding" care leaver services.

The Department for Education said he also acted as an "informal adviser" on the development of the government's care leaver strategy, which sets out the additional support provided by local and central government to help care leavers succeed.

Riddell will have a particular focus on supporting those councils that have had their leaving care services rated as "inadequate" or "requires improvement" by Ofsted.

Goodwill said: "Young people leaving care is one of the most vulnerable groups in society and we are determined that they should get the high-quality support they need to help them make the transition into adulthood.

"I am delighted that Mark has taken up this post and look forward to working closely with him as we continue our drive to improve the experiences and outcomes of care leavers across the country.

Riddell said: "I am delighted to be offered the post and am passionate about improving support for care leavers.

"Young people leaving care face many challenges as they prepare for independence, and crucial to making that transition successful is the support from their ‘corporate parents', the local authority."

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