Eliminate Digital Poverty for Care Leavers
It is shocking to think that the some of the future generations of this country are living in the 21st century without access to the world of the internet. Our Digital Poverty Strategy plans to tackle this in a five-stage approach.
This is what I’m fighting for-clothing allowance, leaving care grant, birthday and Christmas allowance, WIFI and ID
Internet access is not a luxury its essential
A discussion was held at a CLNM meeting on 14th March 2020 around internet poverty and how the lack of internet provision available to care leavers is affecting their growth in terms of education, independence and support networks.
Prior to our strategy being put in to place the UK went into lockdown in response the COVID 19 pandemic. This resulted in the movement going into emergency mode as care leavers more than ever needed to be connected. Care Leavers are more isolated than ever before and are relying on a virtual network of support, for some care leavers this isn’t possible due to a lack of internet access.
It is shocking to think that some of the future generations of this country are living in the 21st century without access to the world of the internet, our digital poverty strategy plans to tackle this in a five-stage approach but we need your support to make this possible.
- Stage 1- In light of the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown on Monday 23 March 2020, it was now an emergency operation to ensure all young people in House Projects had access to the internet. This would ensure that they could stay connected to their support systems. The priority was to ensure everyone had a smart phone and unlimited data for the next three months - complete.
- Stage 2- All young people in house projects across the country who had been paying for internet access themselves to be reimbursed £75 (equivalent of 3 months unlimited data). This would ensure that all young people had had equal access to internet provision and that support was transparent and fair for everyone - complete.
- Stage 3- Every young person in a house project across the country will be provided with a laptop or tablet in order to fully engage in the House Project Programme, but also to access internet provision from- working towards.
- Stage 4- All young people who are members of House Projects will have WIFI for the first 12 months when they move into independent living. In order to provide value for money, this will be done in consultation with each Local Authority to understand what internet provider they are with to establish scope for negotiation in price and the need in some cases for a guarantor - working towards.
- Stage 5- All care leavers across the country receive 12 months WIFI at the point they transition into independent living. This will form part of every local authority’s offer to care leavers and will require a change in policy which we are working towards as part of our Keep Care Leavers Connected campaign- working towards.