A young person is no longer in care when they turn 18 but the local authority must still support them.

Local authorities have duties towards eligible, relevant and former relevant children until they are 25.

Council duties to help the young person

The council must give the young person a personal advisor who stays in touch with them once they have left care. Their role includes giving advice and supporting the young person, speaking with other relevant agencies, and putting in place and monitoring the pathway plan.

They must also carry out an assessment to find out what advice and support the leaver needs and prepare a Pathway Plan to make this happen.

The council must also ensure that the young person has somewhere to live and enough money (until they turn 25).

Pathway plans for care leavers

This plan should consider the young person's need for help and support and (which have been identified in the previous assessment) and how best to meet these needs until the age of 25.

Areas covered should include:

  • accommodation
  • practical life skills including money management
  • education and training
  • employment
  • financial support
  • specific support needs
  • contingency plans for support if independent living breaks down

This is to give the young person a full package of support so they can move from care to living independently. The pathway plans should be reviewed every 6 months.