Young People Leaving Care: A Four Nations Perspective

by Janet Grauberg

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For the last thirty years there has been a steady expansion of government engagement in the lives of young people who are leaving care. Government policy has focused on care leavers because their outcomes are consistently poorer than those of their peers, in terms of educational achievement, employment, progression to higher education, mental health and rates of homelessness.

The term ‘care leaver’ is applied to a young person over 16 who has been in the care of the local authority for a significant time in their childhood and/or teenage years. However, the precise definition of a care leaver and the support to which they are entitled varies across the UK nations.

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