Positive Destinations for Care Leavers

Public system reform | Service design

Barnardo’s, Plymouth Council and Brent Council

Barnardo’s, the Lab and the Local Authorities in Plymouth and Brent are collaborating to support more care-experienced young people to be in employment, education or training by the age of 19-21.


 The need

By the time they are 19-21 years old, young people with care experience are much less likely than those without to be in a ‘positive destination’ – in other words, education, employment or training. Despite their best efforts, no Local Authorities, including Plymouth and Brent, have been able to close this gap, which in many areas is 30% or more.

Our response

For one year starting in May 2019, the Lab will use systems thinking methods to do two things: first, to chart how young people in Plymouth and Brent interact with support services on their journeys through and out of care; and second, to understand the complex web of factors that drive whether care leavers in these areas reach positive destinations by the age of 19-21.


Work to date

  •  Project plan has only just been agreed (and bits of it are still being fleshed out) – so nothing yet

What next?  

  • Implementation of a survey for voluntary and public sector organisations to gain a better picture of the service network that supports care leavers (July 2019) 

  • First draft of the service maps charting the different services that young people interact with on their journeys through and out of care (September 2019) 

  • Workshops with Barnardo’s staff and care experienced young people to better understand the factors that drive whether young people reach ‘positive destinations’ by 19-21 (December 2019 – February 2020). 

 Our work started in May 2019 and will conclude in May 2020



This document outlines Barnardo’s Care Journey Core Priority Programme, which this project sits within. 

The work is funded by Barnardo’s. Our partners are Barnardo’s, Plymouth Council and Brent Council.

 For more information, contact:   

Shreya  Sonthalia