Leicestershire Cares has set up a podcast to help keep two of their participants connected. The care-experienced duo now have a date in their diary each week, where they can record their podcast, helping them reduce the boredom and isolation brought on by the coronavirus lockdown.

Listen to episode 1: Fostering a new approach

Casey and Diana will be exploring issues facing care leavers and over the following weeks will invite guests onto their podcast to investigate what can be done to better support care experienced young people.

Listen to episode 2: What makes a good support worker for care-experienced young people

Casey and Diana talk about trust, an attentive ear, patience, consistency and love, in a complex and often crowded landscape of care experienced young people.

Listen to episode 3: The exit strategy for care leavers

Casey and Diana will be exploring issues facing care leavers and over the following weeks will invite guests onto their podcast to investigate what can be done to better support care-experienced young people.

Main talking points:

  • Casey and Diana talk about the exit strategy which in their eyes, requires the online support that has developed over this time, to stay and for it to now work alongside the face to face interaction with support services.
  • Casey and Diana also call for a bigger push for the Promise to Care, as there will be a need for businesses to step up and strengthen and lead the new community that has blossomed during lockdown. Local governments will probably struggle with more cuts resulting in more care experienced young people missing out on vital support, and charities may need even more help in picking up the pieces and catching the vulnerable ones that fall through the net.
  • Online security will need to be strengthened, and vulnerable people will need help and support in learning how to stay safe online.
  • Video conferencing has worked, and now local authorities can and must utilise it to hear more CEYP voices.​

In conversation on the BBC

Recently, Casey and Diana appeared on BBC Radio Leicester, speaking about their podcast. You can hear them on Ady Dayman show, skipping to 1:10.

Listen to episode 4: Housing and accommodation

This week Casey and Diana interview Tanisa, a young single mother who accesses Leicestershires Cares’ Making Moves project, about her story of living in a Mother and Baby unit and now in council accommodation. Tanisa’s new business

Main talking points:

  • The relationships built between young mothers in a Baby and Mother unit.
  • Lack of support from the state and the need for charities to support with food, mental wellbeing and isolation.
  • Lockdown rules in a hostel and how they make life harder for mothers and babies
  • The feelings of freedom when you walk into your new home.
  • The bare-bones of council accommodation. No carpet, no curtains, no white goods.
  • Setting up your own business as a young mother.

Listen to episode 5: Unregulated accommodation for children in care and care leavers

This week Casey and Diana talk about independent and semi-independent accommodation, which includes hostels, foyer, flats, shared housing and supported living. At the moment these provisions are unregulated so there is no national standard for them and they are not open to inspections from Ofsted.

Main talking points:

  • When are you really mature enough to only receive support and not care?
  • The pros and cons of living independently or semi-independently.
  • The quality of accommodation. “If a staff member walks into a room and thinks, I wouldn’t sleep in here, then why am I expected to?
  • The risks of moving out of your area.
  • We just want to feel safe.

Get involved in the podcast

If you have a questions for them to discuss on their podcast, Tweet them at @LeicsCares #CEYPPODCAST or email jacob@leicestershirecares.co.uk. For more information about our Voices project, contact jacob@leicestershirecares.co.uk. Find out how we work with care experienced young people.

For advice on dealing with isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown, visit the Leicestershire Cares Coronavirus page. These posts were originally published by Leicestershire Cares.