Care Leavers

Opportunities for people who are care leavers

Care leavers are young people aged 16-25 years old who have been in care at some point since they were 14-years old and were in care on or after their sixteenth birthday. These young people are statutorily entitled to some ongoing help and support from the local authority after they leave care.

Our local offer to care leavers  

Surrey Youth Voice provides a local offer for care leavers in Surrey. This can help you with healthy eating, relationships, support with housing, education, employment, and entitlements to financial help.   

Our local offer to care leavers

For information about how Surrey Heartlands supports Care Leavers please contact

The Care Leaver Covenant 

The Care Leaver Covenant is a national inclusion programme. It supports care leavers aged 16-25 to live an independent life.

As part of the Care Leaver Covenant, Surrey Heartlands is developing the Universal Family pilot programme. This helps experienced young people into work experience, volunteering and employment opportunities. 

We are working with our health, social care, Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) and local authority partners to develop this.  

How do I refer myself or a young person to the programme? 

Complete the contact form on the Careers Matters website and the team will be in touch. 

Register your interest 

Register interest at Career Matters

How quickly will I be contacted after the form has been sent?    

You will usually be contacted  within a week. You will arrange a chat (phone/virtual/in-person) and take it from there.  

Do you have opportunities available now? 

There are many different types of jobs available. We are working with our partners in Surrey to make opportunities available in the local area.  There are over 350 jobs roles in the Health and Social Care sector. 

How much is the pay?   

Pay will depend on the role, your skills and qualifications. Some opportunities may be volunteering or work experience which are not paid.            

How long will the jobs be?  

Job length will depend on contract type. Some roles will be permanent and others will be fixed term contracts.  

What support is available to me as a Care Leaver?   

Support is available for anyone who joins the Universal Family project in Surrey Heartlands. 

We use a interactive tool called Thrive to support you online and give you contact with a career advisor.

Access is available to online learning, career coaching and work experience. You can learn about different careers and the skills you might need. This can help you make informed choices.  

Your career coach at Career Matters will support you in logging onto Thrive.    

Can a young person already on an employment programme or in training access the jobs available in this programme?  

Yes. The Universal Family project can work alongside other career pathways. This includes unemployment schemes, college and university leavers, apprenticeships and jobs with formal training at a range of levels.  

Lived Experience Charter

The Lived Experience Charter provides a practical solution and a toolkit to employers to improve and develop their recruitment practices of people with lived experience of the criminal justice and/or the care system.  

Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System has been awarded Bronze Lived Experience Charter status. 

This enables us to provide access to inclusive recruitment opportunities for those who have experience of being in care.

Our partners at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey County Council have also attained Lived Experience Charter status for their work in supporting people with different forms of lived experience.

The Lived Experience Charter breaks down barriers, challenges unconscious bias, and negative assumptions about the recruitment of people with lived experience and creates systemic change across organisations.

Find out more at Career Matters.

Lived Experience Charter