Care leavers are young people aged over 16 leaving local authority care.
According to the Department for Education, in 2021/22 there were 45,940 care leavers in England now aged 17 to 21.
The Department for Education’s Keep on Caring policy paper (2016) said care leavers generally experience worse outcomes than their peers across a number of areas.
The National Audit Office’s report, Care leavers’ transition to adulthood (2015), identified poorer life outcomes for care leavers as a “longstanding problem” with a likely high public cost, including in mental health, employment, education, policing and justice services.
This briefing covers the UK Government’s policies to support care leavers in key areas. It primarily focuses on England but includes some information on devolved policies.
Read more here.