10 Dec 2020

Care Leavers App - our plans for 2021

Care Leavers App - our plans for 2021

Like all our digital services, the Care Leavers App doesn’t stand still - we commit to continuous improvement and have a planned roadmap of new features, functionality and content that we are looking forward to making a start on in January 2021.

Some of these ideas come from customer feedback, some from looking at ways the App is being used (such as during the Covid-19 pandemic), some are from industry trends and new technologies and we also align our thoughts with important updates such as legislation and key reports within the sector: including “What Makes Life Good” from Coram Voice,  “The Journey Through Care” by Dr Katie Ellis at University of Sheffield and the Second National Implementation Adviser Report from Mark Riddell.

Here are some of the major new developments we have planned for the Care Leavers App throughout 2021.

Digital Outcomes Tool
Early in the new year we will be embarking on an exciting partnership project with a local authority (whose name we can’t reveal just yet, but will do soon!) to create a digital outcomes tool, which will embedded as part of their Care Leavers App. This new tech will provide young people with far more support for health and wellbeing and allow for much more rapid and early intervention by the local authority where it is needed.

Digital Pathway Plan
We have met many care leavers who have told us that pathway plans simply do not work for them, and we have also met lots of local authorities who say the same thing. We have already started work on digitalising the pathway plan process, but this won’t be an exercise in ‘copy and paste’ - this is a fundamental rethink on how we can engage young people with their plans in a way that suits them and hence significantly improve those ‘conversion rates’ (language from our eCommerce days). We already have a number of local authorities genuinely excited by what we are planning.

One to One Video Messaging
We are expanding our current Secure Messaging service to support one to one video messaging between young people and their local authority. We think this will make staying in touch even easier and more personal, implemented with industry standard encryption to keep everyone safe and secure. There will also be support for recording sessions and linking to case management systems. We are set to roll out a pilot of video messaging with two local authorities early in the new year.

Directory of Volunteering Opportunities
Together with our existing feed of regional apprenticeships we are going to roll out a similar feature for volunteering opportunities, which will be updated nightly and at no administrative effort to the local authority. Along with the events calendar and directory of local support services, volunteering can help reduce that social isolation that care leavers have told us they often feel. 

Care Experienced Advisory Board
There won't be any coding required for this one, but we’re hoping to move forward with our plans to put together an App Advisory Board who will help us drive development of the App forward and help ensure it remains a valuable resource for young people as they leave care and negotiate independent living.

We are really excited by the plans we have for the App and the partnership projects we have lined up with our local authority friends, we can’t wait to get started.

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