Avolve envisions the day when every former and current looked after child is able to voice their ambitions and opinions, with both the aptitude and means to fulfil them.
As a student led referral and networking project founded within the confines of the University of Exeter, it is a shared belief that to build a movement for change, a united network between all institutions of the care system and beyond must be established. Avolve wishes to epitomize and facilitate this, to provide a more direct advisory and supportive community for former and current looked after children and professionals alike, and to appraise and raise awareness of the work that is involved when working with such a vulnerable yet deserving demographic of children. Tailored to each child, our team has created a mentoring programme that provides independent and individual mentors to meet with child in care within the school environment to develop and achieve a number of targets such as the raising of aspirations and the increasing of the child's educational attainment rate. We seek to do this by acting as a medium that interconnects opportunities outside of education, such as work experience, tuition support and even recreational activities and expose them to the child themselves.
Avolve student capacity ensures that there is a renewed sense of enjoyment when working with such a difficult area of work. By providing an alternative style, both visually and practically, to supporting looked after children, Avolve seeks to redefine the way in which people look and work with looked after children.
What is the problem?
Children in care are currently struggling during their crucial years of GCSEs. With over 69,540 looked after children in the English and Welsh care system to date, in 2014,it would be found that only 14% would obtain their 5 A*-Cs GCSE (including English and Maths). Compared to the national average of 55% of the average student achieving this standard, this disparity has subjected looked after children to a significant disadvantage when seeking to pursue further of higher education, employment and further training.
What do we do?
Avolve provides mentoring and training services and hosts events to raise awareness of the world of looked after children.
Mentoring: Our one-to-one mentoring service consists of each mentor forming a consistent, advisory partnership with each individual looked after child and guiding them to explore any potential aspirations they may have through relevant opportunities which range from employment experience to recreational and academic support.
Awareness Events: Through hosting events in which influential members of the child protection and services community are invited. Avolve acts as a medium for discussion, debate, challenge and support. This in turn drives the engagement and development of a more effective child protection support structure.
Training: We provide the training for our own employees as well as other institutions, allowing those working within the confines of the child protection system to have a more refined and deeper understanding of looked after children and the environment that surrounds them.
Oppurtunities: We provide oppurtunities to children in care thorugh any means we can, whether that be work experience oppurtunities or day trips.
President: Katie Smaldon
Vice President/Mentoring Officer: Philippa Rottger - Morgan
Treasurer: Jason Ferris