Care leavers are facing “digital poverty” without laptops or access to the internet, campaigners say.
A government scheme to provide digital devices and internet access to vulnerable young people in England during the pandemic is set to end in November.
Charities say it risks leaving up to 80,000 18-25 year-old care leavers isolated and unable to access education and work or to keep in touch with friends and family.
In an open letter to ministers, leading charities and youth organisations including Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society have called on the government to extend the scheme and ensure every care leaver gets internet access for at least 12 months when they first live independently.
They’ve described the move to stop the scheme as a “backward step”.
The letter reads: “Taking it away would not only be a backwards step, but would have a potentially damaging effect on these young care leavers’