The Fostering Network is encouraging young people in care to ‘tick the box’ when completing UCAS forms while applying for university.
Ticking the Box on the UCAS form enables young people to access additional support. This can come in the form of a bursary, access to dedicated support staff, or help with accommodation.
It can still be the case that some care experienced young people don’t leave compulsory education with the same level of qualifications as their peers within the general population. It may also be the case that a care experienced young person does not have the same level of familial support available to them in the holidays.
Kathleen Toner, director of The Fostering Network said: “Education gives young people choices, and young people who want to stay in education should receive our full support and backing. We are aspirational for young people in foster care, and we are pleased that educational institutions are beginning to see care experienced young people as a huge boost to their establishments and student population.
“The Tick the Box initiative helps address barriers to accessing further education and has resulted in young people being able to access additional support to continue their educational journey.”
Deirdre Coyle, Commissioning Lead at the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), said: “The HSCB, in partnership with The Fostering Network, is delighted to celebrate the third annual Tick the Box event. This is an important event aimed at reinforcing and spreading the message to foster carers, trust staff and young people that by ticking the box on the UCAS or further education college application form young people leaving care can access significant additional practical, emotional and financial support.”