Positive feedback for Care to Go Higher CPD programme

The third iteration of Go Higher West Yorkshire’s CPD programme for key influencers of young people in care, which ran between March to July 2022, was a huge success and received excellent feedback throughout. 

The Care to Go Higher programme is designed to equip key influencers of care-experienced young people with the tools they need to support their young people to make informed decisions about Higher Education (HE). 

Unlike previous iterations – which was attended by a mixture of foster carers, personal advisors and children’s home workers – the large majority of the 11 participants in this delivery were foster carers. The programme was adapted between sessions to better accommodate the needs of this cohort.

The sessions were run online and included presentations and guest speakers. Each participant was given access to resources and slides after each session, and in some cases additional links/resources of relevance to follow on from the presentation. Four of the sessions included guest speakers on varying topics, including HE professionals and care-experienced students. The guest speakers were sourced via our member institutions and provided a variety of unique insights. Participants also attended an in-person graduation event

Participant feedback has been incredibly positive in terms of both quantitative and qualitative data. Some highlights have included huge increases in understanding: there was an increase of 172% in the category of “I can identify and dispel common myths about HE”; 98% for “I have good knowledge and understanding of the support available to care leavers in HE”; and 108% for “I feel equipped to discuss with care experienced young people the support they may need in further and HE”. 

Anonymous feedback also yielded encouraging responses that highlight the value of the programme. One participant said: “I now feel more confident about all the options available to care leavers to access higher education. It’s really encouraging to know there are so many options and support available to them.” Another one said: “An excellent course, with the subject information and useful resources being an invaluable addition to our foster carer ‘tool belt’.  I feel it was of particular benefit to those of us who haven’t experienced any form of higher education, but yet need to be able to support those young people we care for to reach their potential.” 

When considered alongside feedback from previous programme iterations, it reinforces that the project should be continued and expanded to support care-experienced young people. We are currently considering expanding the programme outside West Yorkshire in order to maximise delivery, which is the best way for it to influence the lives of care-experienced young people. We are also likely to schedule guest speakers that more directly complement the sessions.

Feedback continues to be encouraging, and the programme’s future is looking bright with an exciting year ahead with changes and potential expansion on the horizon.