What is Lifelong Links (LL)?
Lifelong Links is an exciting three year trial for children in care funded by the Department for Education Innovation Program from April 2017. Seven English Local Authorities and two in Scotland are part of the trial. Lifelong Links draws upon a combination of a Family Finding model, which originated in the United States and the Family Group Conference model, which originated in New Zealand.
The Lifelong Links trial is for children and young people who have been in care for less than three years and are fifteen years old or under. It aims to reconnect them with family, friends and other adults who have been important to them. LL’s puts the child or young person at the centre and ensures that their voice is paramount throughout the whole process.
Lifelong Links uses searching tools and techniques to find family members known or unknown to the child or young person and other adults such as former foster carers or teachers the child or young person has identified and would like to contact. These people are brought together in a Family Group Conference (FGC) to make a life-long support plan with, and for, the child or young person.
The aims of Lifelong Links
- Increase the number of supportive, lasting relationships for children or young people in care.
- Reduce the number of placement breakdowns.
- Improve emotional and mental wellbeing.
- Improve educational engagement and attainment.
- Reduce any incidents of running away.
- Reduce any harmful and risky behaviors including substance misuse, self-harm and criminal activity.
- Improve long term outcomes for Young people leaving care, including an increase in training and employment and reduced likelihood of their own child being removed.
We welcome any enquires. Please feel free to discuss any questions you might have regarding LL. The Lifelong Links Lead is Nicole Berry and the Lifelong Links Coordinator is Claire Rayner.
Any enquires can be made to Nicole Berry and / or Claire Rayner at the Family Solution Service – firstname.lastname@example.org