What happens when a child is ready to leave the care system?

If a care order is made in respect of a child, the local council will help them with support until they reach the age of 25. A plan should be put in place to help the child make a transition from care to independent life. The support provided should include a personal adviser and plan.

A statutory review meeting will be organised to discuss the support that is needed. The people involved in the meeting will be the social worker, the carers, other people involved in the support and the independent reviewing officer.

The local authority must write a pathway plan when the child reaches 16 which will include; health, education, contact with family and financial management. The personal adviser will have an input in the plan which will be reviewed until the age of 21 or 25. The plan must be reviewed at least every 6 months.

On the 23rd October 2019, education secretary Gavin Williamson announced the new-cross government support available to young persons who are leaving the care system alongside £19 million of investment into programmes that directly benefit care leavers. The new funding includes £10 million to create stable homes for care leavers as they become adults; £6 million to support young people leaving care to live independently and £3 million to help care leavers to go into further education.