New App Launched for Care Leavers in the Borough

h4u provides information on services and support available

New App Launched for Care Leavers in the Borough
Information will be regularly updated by Hounslow Council’s Leaving Care Team. Picture: Hounslow Council

Hounslow Council is releasing the Hounslow for You (h4u) Care Leavers App to mark Care Leavers Week 2022 (24-28 October).

Care Leavers are young people who have recently left care. They continue to receive support from Children’s Services as young adults, at least until their 21st birthday and possibly beyond. They are most likely to be living in a foster family or in supported housing provision. Some care leavers are away at university and will also have support from the Leaving Care Service.

The Council has been working with Focusgov to try to enhance the support on offer to Care Leavers - bringing information into one convenient place.

With h4u, Care Leavers can find a wide variety of information and advice related to accommodation, benefits, health, housing, money matters and relationships. The app also offers an array of local events and activities in and around Hounslow – helping to reduce social isolation that can be common amongst care leavers.

The app also includes a directory of local services that provide additional help and support for young people. It also features a regional apprenticeships feed - assisting young people to find employment and training.

Content within the app is also available in multiple languages and will be kept up to date by Hounslow Council’s Leaving Care Team.

To ensure the app was suited to the needs of young people in Hounslow, care leavers were involved in a co-production session where they could voice what they really wanted in their app and were able to have an input into the look and feel, choosing their own colours, imagery styles and accessible fonts. They also reviewed and approved the finished app.

Commenting on the development of this tool, Councillor Lily Bath, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Learning and Employment, said, “This app is a bespoke tool that will speed up access to current information and services. We are passionate about equipping our Care Leavers with essential information, advice and opportunities in a medium young people prefer to use, which ultimately ensures sustained engagement.

“Hounslow Council is committed to providing an enhanced offer for care leavers and that every young person - regardless of family background or personal circumstances - can achieve their full potential.”

The app is now available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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October 27, 2022