This guidance says what support Local Authorities, like the County Council need give care leavers who are aged between 16 and 25 years, who are no longer looked after. It explains in more detail all the rights and entitlements that are found in the various Children Acts. It makes it really clear that no child in care should have to 'leave care' before they are ready.
It says that there are 3 principles that should be taken into account in all decisions.
- Is this good enough for my own child?
- Is it tailored to their individual needs?
- Providing a 2nd chance if things don't go as expected.
It covers lots of different areas including: Pathway plans, personal advisers, keeping in touch with care leavers, special help for disabled young people, unaccompanied asylum seekers and care leavers in the youth justice system. The guidance also points out the importance of helping a young person plan well to live independently, helping them to get suitable accommodation, and even providing help at the start with unexpected bills and decorating.
It also explains that a Local Authority, should be a 'good parent' and act as a safety net for example: helping a young person out who has just got a job, before they get their salary.
Here is a quick guide from the Children's Rights Director about 10 entitlements for Care Leavers.
Here is the full statutory guidance, but it's over 100 pages long!