Our aim is to enable young people to leave care at 18 years old with both the material resources and the knowledge to achieve their potential. Since we were established in February 2005, we've been working with the Government’s two investment initiatives for young people: the Child Trust Fund and the Junior ISA.
Between 2005 and 2010 we've made additional contributions to Child Trust Funds: since 2012 we’ve been appointed by the Department for Education to establish Junior ISAs for all children and young people who’ve been in care continuously for over one year, and who do not have a Child Trust Fund. There’s an initial £200 from the Government to open each account, and one of our tasks is to raise additional money to build that account into a worthwhile starter for adult life.
We’ve worked with pfeg (the Personal Finance Education Group, now part of Young Enterprise) to provide guidance on handling money generally including, of course, their Junior ISA investment. It's a vital role in which we also work closely with local authorities, carers and schools.
This website by necessity addresses some very different audiences:
- young people themselves;
- carers, or responsible persons;
- local authorities, who make the allocation of accounts possible;
- Junior ISA providers, with whom the accounts are held; and
- those who want to help us turn these accounts into a meaningful start to adult life, by making additional contributions and providing contacts to help with funding.
The Sharefound office co-ordinates all of this. Its team of five people run operations on a purpose-built system designed by Methods Consulting and provides a helpline for enquiries.
Evidence shows that the large majority of looked after young people want to make the most of their opportunities in adult life and to contribute to their communities effectively. It is our objective to help them realise that potential.