Building Happier Futures for care experienced children and young people

Thursday 26 October 2023
Miracle and her Transition Worker Catherine

In 2022, we began a meaningful partnership with the John Lewis Partnership as part of the Building Happier Futures programme - their long-term commitment to helping children from care. But how does this partnership shape our work and the young people we support?

Like Action for Children, the John Lewis Partnership understand that the 108,000 children growing up in the UK care system deserve the opportunities to thrive like any other young person. But they also understand that for this to happen, more help is needed.

By working together, we can reach more care experienced young people in the UK and give them the tools they need to shine. We're providing support to give foster placements more stability. We're developing a new employability support service in collaboration with care experienced young people. And we’re helping young people transition from care to independent living.

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Working together for children in care

Following difficult and disrupted childhoods, many care experienced young people find themselves thrown into adulthood before they're ready. When they leave care, many young people face a life of independence with no one to turn to. The lack of support makes it even more challenging. It's for this reason that leaving care is often described as a ‘cliff edge’.

The funding we receive through the John Lewis Partnership is helping young people across the UK receive vital support from our Transition Workers. Transition Workers help care experienced young people gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive in adult life. They work directly with children in care before, during, and after their transition into independent living.

Action for Children changes lives – they actually care about the kids they work with and they're always trying to think outside of the box for new ways to support young people. Having our voices heard is amazing.

Miracle, a care experienced young person who received support from an Action for Children Transition Worker

The young people supported by our Transition Workers feel listened to, connected to the wider community, and that they can be their authentic selves. The impact of this support is lifelong.

How we are helping care experienced young people: Miracle’s story

Miracle 09

Since she was born, 20-year-old Miracle has been in and out of the care system. She experienced several foster placements. And without any stability in her life, Miracle found herself struggling with her mental health.

Miracle explains: “I had a terrible time in school – I was badly bullied and just didn’t feel like I was getting any support. It was a really dark time.”

In 2019, Miracle was placed with an Action for Children foster carer, and things started to turn around. Her foster carer referred Miracle to Action for Children Transition Worker, Catherine. This support came at a critical point in Miracle’s life.

I really needed help with applying for colleges and jobs, so she helped a lot with those applications. I ended up getting both the jobs I applied for!


With her transition worker, Catherine, by her side, Miracle has flourished. She's currently doing a work placement and is aiming to go to university next year. Over the years, Miracle and Catherine have built up an incredible bond.

Miracle and her Transition Worker Catherine

Miracle (left) and her Transition Worker, Catherine (right)

“Transition Workers give children in care someone to talk to. It helps us not to feel alone, that someone is fighting your corner... Catherine became my friend. Anything I needed – applications for jobs, colleges, someone to talk to if I was down – I could talk to her about anything. If I'd never had that, I would have been in a very dark place.”

Miracle is so passionate about the work Catherine does that she jumped at the chance to join Action for Children's Young Ambassador Board. As part of our board, members can discuss the issues affecting young people today and help shape the work of the charity. Having first-hand experience of the care system, Miracle is able to use her voice to bring about change for the future.

I really want to do what Catherine does. To help them the way I was helped, that’s the ultimate goal.

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All children deserve safe and happy childhoods. Help us reach more care experienced young people

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