In May 2022, a number of Uni Connect Partnerships formed a working group to collaborate with Stand Alone to develop a package of CPD and resources for practitioners supporting kinship care and estranged students entering higher education (HE).
Stand Alone is a UK charity who support adults of all ages that are estranged from their family or key family members. They are working to destigmatise family estrangement by raising awareness. The charity is working with the higher education sector to improve formal recognition for students who are studying without the support of a family network.
Research conducted with Stand Alone has found that 14% of estranged students drop out of university before the end of their degree. This means that estranged students are around three times more likely to drop out of university before finishing their course compared to non-estranged students. Furthermore, estranged students face barriers such as stigma around the terminology used, and difficulty accessing financial and accommodation support.
Key estrangement figures in HE (from Stand Alone)
- Students who are estranged are likely to remove themselves from a damaging situation between the ages of 16-19³
- 41% of students had considered withdrawing or suspending from their course due to money pressures, stress, and mental health struggles¹
- 68% of students surveyed agreed there was a stigma around family estrangement²
The Uni Connect Estranged and Kinship Students Partnership is committed to raising awareness around kinship care and estrangement. We signpost educational practitioners to the support available, whilst providing resources and CPD.
In collaboration with Stand Alone and Student Finance England, the Estranged and Kinship Partnership has developed a guide statement, with an accompanying resource for all Uni Connect Partners.
Estranged Students CPD Conference
During estranged students’ week (21 – 25 November 2022) the partnership is hosting a virtual CPD conference on Thursday 24 November, 1:30pm via Zoom. The conference will have sessions from Student Finance England, Stand Alone, UCAS and the Uni Connect Estranged and Kinship Students Partnership. The aim of the event is to provide post-16 practitioners with relevant information to support estranged students to access higher education.
In 2023 the partnership will be launching an online CPD session aimed at youth and education practitioners working with post-16 students. The CPD will introduce estrangement; the barriers and challenges for estranged students when entering higher education; and will provide practical next steps that practitioners can take to support their students.
Further details on how to book the CPD session will be released in the spring term. You can see the SUN’s events webpage for more information on our CPD offer.