Carer's Guide To Leaving Care

As young people in care transition into adulthood, it's important that they have the knowledge and skills they need to live happy, independent lives.

Pathway Plan

To help them prepare, their social worker or personal adviser and others will assess their needs and what they need to learn using the Transition to Adulthood - Independent Living Skills workbook.

This helps to develop a Pathway Plan to map out:

  • what is needed
  • how long the goals might take to achieve
  • who will help and support along the way.

Young people are usually given a copy of the Pathway Plan soon after their 16th birthday.

How you can help

The Independent Living Skills workbook and Pathway Plan are really helpful in supporting our young people in care getting the right skills to become a successful adult. However, both are no substitute for the personal support that is provided by you, their carer. To help you in this role we’ve created the Carer's Guide To Leaving Care.

It is split into 3 sections:

  • Teaching life skills
  • Putting things in place
  • Managing expectations.

Teaching life skills

For young people aged 15 upwards, the focus should be on developing life skills. They need opportunities to practice skills such as cooking and discussing issues such as money or looking for work. The Teaching life skills section gives practical advice on how to teach these skills to young people.

Putting things in place

During the last year of care there is a greater emphasis on making sure that goals in the young person’s Pathway Plan are being progressed as agreed. What will their source of income be, where will they be living, do they have a job, are they enrolled in post 16 education, training or an apprenticeship? The Putting things in place section provides a guide to make sure the most important issues are being considered.

Managing expectations

Both you and the young person need to be clear about what life will be like after they leave care. This can raise some difficult issues, for example, would you be happy for them to continue socialising with your children and dropping in for meals? How will you feel if you want them to continue living with you but they can’t wait to leave? The Managing expectations section raises some of these issues and may help you prepare for them.

Read the guide

For more information, read the Carer's Guide to Leaving Care (PDF, 860.0 KB).