Reboot West – Helping young people leaving care to progress in education and work

26th February 2024

Confidence – Skills – Fulfilling lives

“I have goals and ambitions – I actually feel like I can do it now”

“The support I have received has been more than just a step to a career path. My work with my Reboot West Coach has been substantial to me understanding that I am capable and deserve a good future as long as I am willing to help myself.”

“The support has been helpful in moving forwards in the progression from college to Uni and the work experience wouldn’t of happened without the support of my work coach.”

The Reboot West approach

  • Reboot West works with care experienced young people aged 16-25 across the West of England region helping them to access and sustain learning, training and work as well as helping them to achieve stability and wellbeing in their lives.
  • The project’s Coaches form trusting relationships with young people for up to three years, sticking with them through the highs and the lows.
  • Together they explore what matters most to the young person (their values) and what they are good at, helping them to gain the confidence, skills, motivation and qualifications to progress to meaningful work. This includes job coaching and practical help (for example with their CVs and preparing for job interviews) as well as providing things like laptops and work clothes.
  • Partnership working is central to Reboot’s approach, with the project’s Coaches embedded in local authority teams across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BANES and North Somerset.
  • Reboot Coaches work out and about in the community, meeting young people in locations that are safe for them including their own homes, café’s, parks, or even the gym. As well as EET work, Reboot Coaches work holistically doing whatever it takes to ensure that the young person is in a safe and secure physical and mental state to begin EET work.
  • Coaches are trained to use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a psychological approach that helps young people to build commitment and make positive choices. Rather than be driven by some of the unhelpful thoughts and feelings that young people leaving care can often experience, ACT enables young people to choose behaviours and action based on their personal values and the life they want to lead.
  • The project uses a model of ACT called DNA-V that was developed specifically for working with adolescents. The co-founder of DNA-V, Australian clinical psychologist Louise Hayes, has supported the project since the beginning, along with Bristol-based senior educational psychologist, Duncan Gillard.
  • The project also helps to create supportive, sustainable education and employment opportunities by working in partnership with employers, colleges, universities and training providers.


The need

Young people leaving care are hugely talented young people and the project aims to ensure they fulfil their potential and become a key asset in their communities and the region. However, they also have emotional and wellbeing needs associated with trauma, disrupted attachments, instability and change. Nationally care experienced young people are far more likely than their peers to be not in education or employment (NEET). The project supports people leaving care who are NEET or at high risk of becoming NEET.

Reboot West One

  • The first Reboot West project (Reboot West One) launched in 2018 and was funded through the Department for Education’s Social Care Innovation Fund and social investor, Bridges Fund Management.
  • Between August 2018 – August 2022, Reboot West One worked with 237 young people in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BANES and North Somerset.
  • 71% of Reboot West One young people accessed and sustained education, employment, or training.
  • 81% of Reboot West One young people achieved a level 1 qualification (33% joined with no qualifications).

Reboot West Two

  • Reboot West Two launched in the spring of 2021 and us funded by Youth Futures Foundation and the West of England Combined Authority to extend and expand the Reboot programme until March 2025.
  • Reboot West Two has supported a further 156 care experienced young people across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BANES and North Somerset
  • While local authorities are responsible for supporting young people leaving care, the Combined Authority is responsible for boosting the region’s employment and skills system. This project’s partnership approach across the region means young care leavers will benefit from the Combined Authority’s relationships with employers to find supportive work placements.

Reboot West Three

  • In December 2022, we received the fantastic news that Youth Futures Foundation will fund Reboot West Three!
  • Reboot West Three will enable us to support a further 265 care experienced young people across 4 local authorities. Reboot West Three launched in August 2023 and will run until the autumn of 2026.
  • Reboot West Three will also be a full-scale impact trial via a randomized control trial (RCT.) This is the first youth unemployment trial of this scale in the UK and will evaluate if the Reboot model of support is more successful in supporting young people to sustain long term EET opportunities compared to the usual local EET offer available.
  • Reboot West Three is also a unique opportunity to work in partnership with local authorities, Youth Futures Foundation (YFF) and the YFF commissioned evaluator Behavioural Insights Team to undertake the strongest evaluation of a youth employment programme of its kind to date.

Download Reboot Three referral form here.

Download additional privacy notice here.

Anna Smee, CEO, Youth Futures said:

“Young care leavers are more likely to become disengaged from the labour market because of lack of support at transition points in their life. They may have additional emotional, and wellbeing needs that need to be met to build confidence, skills and move into paid employment. That’s why we’re supporting 1625’s holistic approach. We’re committed to investing in potential to identify ‘what works’ to initiate new ways of working that could be scaled up nationally. This partnership will support our ambitions and deliver our vision.”

Dan Norris, West of England Mayor said:

“As a ‘jobs first’ Metro Mayor, I’m determined to ensure that everyone in our region is given the opportunities and support they need to begin and secure a good career, whatever their situation is. I’m proud to lead the West of England Combined Authority which is helping to provide worthwhile projects like Reboot West and get more people into work.” 

Dom Wood, CEO 1625 Independent People said:

“We are delighted to have received such significant support from the West of England Combined Authority and the Youth Futures Foundation. Young people leaving care are hugely talented and we are determined that they can access jobs, education, and training so they can succeed in life. This is a partnership with 1625 coaches working alongside local authority leaving care teams, employers, and training providers, with the success of our approach being a credit to everyone involved, and most importantly to the young people who have shown such strength and perseverance through these hard times. This funding provides a huge opportunity to support more care leavers into employment and we will be working closely with employers, colleges, local authorities, the voluntary sector, and training providers to ensure that opportunities are meaningful and supportive”.

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