This briefing paper outlines support for young people leaving local authority care. It's been updated for National Care Leavers' Week 2019.Jump to full report >>
This briefing paper provides general background on the development of Government policies to support care leavers, and the specific support available in terms of: social services; housing; education and training; health services; and the social security system.
This briefing paper mostly covers policy in England, but includes some information about support for care leavers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The focus of this paper is young people aged 16+ leaving local authority care. Support for younger children moving into and out of care, or leaving care through adoption or other routes, are not considered in detail in this report.
In a July 2016 policy document, Keep on caring, the Department for Education nnoted that outcomes for care leavers were much worse than for their counterparts in the general population. Furthermore, the quality of leaving care services provided by local authorities was variable. Earlier, in 2015, the National Audit Office concluded that addressing the poor life outcomes of young people leaving care was “a longstanding problem” and that the cost of their not moving successfully into adulthood was high.
The then-Government published its Care leaver strategy for England in October 2013. This identified several key areas where care leavers needed better (and more joined-up) support, including in education; employment; finance; health; housing; and the justice system. More recent developments have included:
National Care Leavers’ Week is an annual event, and in 2019 it runs from 24 to 31 October.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8429
Authors: Nerys Roberts; Steven Kennedy; Manjit Gheera; Tim Jarrett; Rachael Harker; Tom Powell; Wendy Wilson