Star rating 4/5
The first thing that has to be said about this aid is that it is simple, but comprehensive, writes Hayley Prew. The chapters are neatly divided and organised, the colours bold and stimulating.
Although the toolkit has a friendly theme throughout, it also highlights the range of issues that a young person may face on their introduction to independent living. It drums home the enormity of what it means to be independent, giving a thorough and easygoing insight into topics from money and employment to childcare.
However, learning to be independent can be thrust upon a young person before they are ready, often making full preparation for a successful move towards independence impossible. It would therefore be helpful to incorporate a questionnaire about a young person’s circumstances so those with urgent needs can be directed straight to the relevant chapters.
This is an improvement on any previous attempts at providing an independence toolkit. The information isn’t provided in a patronising tone, which is important for young people who may feel too awkward to ask for help from authorities.
The aid could be seen as empowering to the young person – after all, knowledge is power. But whether it will reach its desired audience is questionable.
Hayley Prew is a care leaver