Care leavers face postcode lottery of support services

Young adults leaving care face a postcode lottery of support
services across Scotland, according to research released by the
Scottish executive.

The survey discovered that 77 per cent of authorities have a
planned ‘throughcare’ programme while slightly more than a third
(39 per cent) of young care leavers has actually received one. Only
40 per cent of young care leavers have had a formal care leaving

Most authorities (77 per cent) have strategies in place for
involving and consulting with young people, yet less than a quarter
of support workers were aware of essential aspects of young care
leavers’ lives such as their educational attainments. As
expected, almost two thirds of young people in the survey had no
standard grade qualifications and most had experiences of truancy
(83 per cent) and school exclusion (71 per cent).

A third of young people involved in the survey had been subject
to disruption with four or more placement moves during their last
episode in care, and only 7 per cent remaining in the same
placement. The study concludes that reliable support, whether
formal or informal, was the most essential influence in positive
outcomes in most aspects of young care leavers’ lives.

‘A Study of Throughcare and After Care’ was written by
researchers Jo Dixon and Mike Stein of York University as the
latest in Scotland’s Children: Children (Scotland) Act 1995
Research Findings No 3.

While services varied widely across Scotland, the lack of
adequate data collection and processing systems for monitoring and
identifying young people eligible for services hampered

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