Supporting care leavers to fulfil their potential through sustainable employment

The Drive Forward Foundation empowers care leavers between 16 and 26 to move into independent living through sustainable employment. Providing practical and emotional support, they help to develop key skills, confidence and motivation, which enable care leavers to move into work, education or training. 

Why we're here

A childhood spent in care can have a devastating effect on a young person’s life chances. Educational attainment, levels of health and wellbeing, and employment prospects are all significantly lower than for the general population, while instances of homelessness, criminal behavior, metal health issues and teenage pregnancy are considerably higher. 

Care leavers, therefore, often have chaotic lifestyles and suffer from a lack of independence and poor social skills, which create additional barriers to employment.

Having a good understanding of the underlying issues care leavers have to face on a daily basis, we have developed a bespoke package of services to enable those vulnerable young people to successfully transition into independent living.

  • 1-2-1 career support
  • Direct relationships with top employers
  • Confidence building and employability skills sessions
  • Professional in-work motoring support

What we do

As a small, specialist organisation, one of our core strengths is flexibility, enabling us to adapt quickly to changes in the environment as well as changes in our client group. The past eight years have been a consistent learning curve.

We went from running a six-week long training course to tailoring our service to the individual needs and expectations of the young people we are working with at any given point and focusing on quality face-to-face support.

Since 2017, we offer mindfulness classes to address issues of feeling overwhelmed with work, college, housing and life after care in general.

Shevonne's story

Shevonne first went into care aged 11. 

“Before I was placed into care on a more permanent basis, I used to run away from home. In terms of my home situation, it was never going to work. I had to become my own mother and father and try to steer myself in the right direction against all odds." ⠀⠀

 She looks back on the situation she found herself in as a child and reflects on how vulnerable she was.

“I needed to escape all the time. It’s a miracle I never came to harm."

Shevonne looking out over London Bridge

From an early age she was aware of the need to write her own story and spent time working out her next move, how she would overcome each hurdle facing her. She was always determined not to allow her past to define her future. 

“I was determined to succeed and make the most out of a bad start to life”.

Shevonne graduated with a law degree in 2016 though struggled to find a supportive employer to help her achieve her dream of becoming a solicitor. With the help of Drive Forward she found a role with a Health Regulatory Agency and is currently funding her LPC with Masters.

She continues to work with Drive Forward as an ambassador; she is passionate to support other young people who have left care. Her advice for other young women reflects her resilience and is all about positive attitude⠀

"A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you."

The Drive Forward Foundation website ->