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GMCA - Care Leavers App

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The Brief

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) represent the 10 GM Local Authorities.  They include Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan and there are approximately 4,200 care leavers. GMCA started their Care Leavers App journey in May 2022 and are now in the early stages of developing their app. GM Care Leavers have already been consulted and involved in the design of the logo and co-production of the app. 

Our Approach

GMCA have several ways to communicate with care leavers from Greater Manchester The GM Care Leaver Delivery Group has representation from the 10 Leaving Care Managers across the boroughs, working together to consolidate the care leaver available to their young people. They communicate directly with their teams and the staff that support care leavers.  A GM Participation Network created in August has 2 care leaver representatives from each borough that link to their local Care Leaver Forums and will help shape the future direction of the GM Care Leaver work programme.  

The GM Participation Network has said that better communication of the GM Care Leaver Guarantee, of what’s on offer and their entitlements is crucial.  The App will provide a ‘one stop shop’ of information, advice and guidance so that care leavers can easily view what’s available and access support.  
A GMCA Digital Inclusion programme is already improving care leavers online access to opportunities be that financial, housing, health and well-being, education, employment or skills.  The App will help raise awareness and increase the uptake of those opportunities such as free bus travel, prescriptions, online applications or housing support for example  

The Results

The app will help to prevent social and digital exclusion, by ensuring young people have access to information and events – even offline. Providing mental health, well-being and key services information and advice, the app will also feature apprenticeships across Greater Manchester, increasing the chances of young people transitioning into education and employment. 
So far, GMCA have found the process of designing their Care Leavers App a ‘positive experience’ with “carefully planned and structured” co-production sessions that led to valuable input from care leavers which helped create the App logo and design - Plans to include administrators from across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester will ensure content is kept up to date for all young people.
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