This short document provides a summary of initial learning from data gathered for an evaluation of the Why Not? initiative. The study was commissioned by the social care organisation, Care Visions. The document should be read alongside the literature review: In and beyond the care setting: relationships between young people and care workers. The review summarises key findings from literature and policy that are relevant to the concept and delivery of the Why Not? initiative.
The Why Not? initiative within Care Visions services was started in 2014 to improve the way young people are supported when ageing out of care, by offering a different experience of relationships beyond care.
The aim of the scheme was to offer every young person leaving a Care Visions service a meaningful connection to a supportive adult, based on a relationship that has developed within the care setting and that is valued by the young person. The intention was that this relationship continues throughout the young person’s transition from care and into adulthood.
The stated aims were to reduce the sense of isolation and loneliness that is so often a feature of leaving care, and provide continuity of relationships at a time of change and disruption. Relationships encompassed by the Why Not? initiative were to be open-ended, informal, ‘natural’, supportive relationships that endure over time.