Last week, staff from CASCADE and the Centre for Student Life at Cardiff University launched a new website to help care-experienced young people in Wales and those who support them learn more about higher education and transitions to university.
CLASS Cymru (Care Leaver Activities and Student Support in Wales) is a network of professionals across universities, FE colleges, Local Authorities and charities in Wales who have been sharing best practice over the past decade to help support care-experienced people in their journeys to higher education. Dr Hannah Bayfield has been working alongside CLASS Cymru in her research exploring the support that is available for care-experienced students, and one of the key findings of the research was that whilst support was available, many care-experienced people and supportive adults such as foster carers or local authority staff did not know where to find the information relevant to them. Sophie, a research participant and care-experienced student, had this to say:
“I did struggle to find things that were specific for me as a care leaver, especially when it came to additional support. […] I couldn’t sort of find a comprehensive way of finding any information that was specific to my situation if that makes sense, not just general to new applicants.”
As a result of comments like Sophie’s, Hannah, the CLASS Cymru network and focus groups of care-experienced people worked with designer Frank Duffy to develop the CLASS Cymru website.
Launched in October 2022, classcymru.co.uk is designed to clearly lay out the path to university, providing information and signposting at every stage that is relevant to people with care experience. With downloadable resources and plenty of links to relevant information and support, this bilingual site provides care-experienced people and those who support them with a one-stop-shop for finding the key information necessary to simplify the journey to university.