MOVES to help looked after children and people leaving care realise their hopes and dreams are being extended across the whole of North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire County Council's new strategy, "We care because you matter"aims to give young people who are in care the support and encouragement they need. It was initially introduced in Scarborough and is now being extended to all districts across the county.

It's been written with the help of looked after children, care leavers and their guardians, carers and support staff and builds on feedback from young people who said their ultimate aim was to have the support of people who have high aspirations for them and will cheer them on through life's journey.

County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Service, said: "Our vision is that children in care and care leavers have the very best start in life with the same opportunities, support and outcomes as other children. Our job is to walk in the shoes of the young people and families who use our services.

"We’re working alongside our district colleagues and partners with a commitment to opening up access to the services and facilities they provide. This will include things like access to leisure centres and priority housing support.

"We also want to provide practical help at a local level for young people going into the world of work, our priorities for the next 12 months also include providing work experience opportunities and a guaranteed interview for care leavers with the minimum qualifications for an apprenticeship or graduate scheme."

The strategy outlines North Yorkshire County Council’s role as "corporate parents" along with the county’s seven district councils. Cllr Sanderson said they would be working with many partners to try and achieve the best outcomes for young people.