Demonstrating our commitment to those leaving care

Cllr Adam Wilkinson outside Halifax Town Hall

Calderdale Council has furthered its commitment to supporting young people leaving care, by recognising care experience as a protected characteristic.

Calderdale Council is responsible for the care of young people who cannot safely remain with their families. This corporate parenting role is something the Council takes very seriously and it does all it can to ensure that those in care, or leaving care have the opportunities to enable them to reach their potential.

Earlier this year, Mark Riddell MBE, National Implementation Advisor to Government, visited Calderdale to review the Council’s Local Offer to care leavers. Feedback from this visit included the acknowledgement that Calderdale has a ‘Good’ care leavers service, citing evidence of the positive changes that have been implemented. It also advised how the Council could further its commitment, including the recommendation to recognise care experience as a protected characteristic.

At the December meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet, members agreed to implement this recommendation. This means that people who are in care or have experience of care in Calderdale will now have the same protection from discrimination as other characteristics under the Equality Act including age, sex, race, sexual orientation and religion.

The Council recognises that care experienced people can face significant barriers that impact them throughout their lives, often facing discrimination and stigma across housing, health, education, relationships, employment and in the criminal justice system. Recognising and making allowances for this by making care experience a protected characteristic supports the Council’s wider work to support care experienced young people to become thriving adults.

In the last 12 months, the Council has also signed up to the Care Leaver Friendly Employer Charter, officially marking the authority’s status as a Care Leaver Friendly Employer, with the borough implementing improvements to better support care leavers to thrive in the workplace.

This includes a guaranteed interview for Calderdale Council apprenticeships or jobs, for care leavers who meet the minimum criteria for the post. Care leavers working at the Council will also be given support within their role and receive compassion and understanding around any additional challenges they may be facing.
The Council will continue to look for ways to further improve the offer for care leavers, ensuring that the needs of care experienced young people continue to be at the heart of decision-making.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Adam Wilkinson, said:

“As corporate parents, we have a collective responsibility to provide the best possible care and opportunities for children in our care and our care leavers, and we take this responsibility very seriously.

“Reducing inequalities is a priority for the Council and we understand the barriers that can be faced by those with care experience and the discrimination they can encounter. I’m proud that we’ve gone beyond our statutory duties to recognise care experience as a protected characteristic, demonstrating our commitment to those in or leaving care and making sure that our services, policies and decision-making processes take into consideration the impact on care leavers.”

Supporting people to reach their potential and ensuring the borough is a place where talent and enterprise can thrive are key themes of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved with the debate on X with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at