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Social Finance and Newcastle City Council, and in partnership with Impetus-PEF, launch a report today on youth unemployment in Newcastle. An analysis of 8,000 17-19 year olds in Newcastle, shows that 67% of unemployed youth in the city had had repeated contact with Children’s Social Care. This, despite the fact that only 25% of the total population of 17-19 year olds in the city, had been in contact Children’s Social Care.

While care leavers are widely acknowledged as a high risk group for unemployment and a range of poor social outcomes, the analysis concludes that vulnerable young people – those on a Child Protection Plan or even those who have only had six interactions with Children’s Social Care – spend more than three times as long in unemployment or out of education.

Key findings include:

– New research shows that 67% of unemployed 17-19 year olds in Newcastle come from the 25% of  17-19 year olds who have had multiple contacts with Children’s Social Care

– Young people who face personal challenges warranting social care support, spend more than three times longer Not In Employment, Education or Training (NEET) – Earlier intervention, including family support, could help young people move successfully into adulthood

– We must look beyond the 70,000 Looked After children in England. Half a million children in regular contact with social care are at high risk of unemployment.

These findings have real significance for the wider population. In England, there are nearly 70,000 children who are Looked After by the state. The government recently launched the Care Leavers covenant to make their transition to youth adulthood smoother. But if the data from Newcastle is representative of the unemployed youth population across the country, there are an additional 440,000 children under Children’s Social Care plans who are at very high risk of unemployment and other negative outcomes in the future.