Government pilots raising care leaving age to 18

The government may extend the age that young people leave the care system from 16 to 18 if a pilot scheme proves to be successful.

Over the next three years, 11 pilots will run across England to explore care planning and to assess whether young people in care want to extend the leaving date to 18 or live independently at 16.

The minister for children and families, Kevin Brennan, said: “We want to transform the lives of children in care, improve their educational attainment and give them the same chances in life as other children.”

He added that stable placements and good care planning around the young person’s individual needs would lead to less care leavers becoming NEET [not in education, employment of training), which he said “benefits society as a whole”.

The total cost of the pilot programme, Right2bCared4, will amount to about £6m.

The pilots begin this month in Bournemouth, Barnet, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Merton, North Tyneside, Oxfordshire, South Gloucestershire, Plymouth, Tower Hamlets and Warwickshire.

The pilot programme was originally proposed in the government’s green paper on children in care, Care Matters, and later confirmed in the white paper, Care Matters: Time for Change.

More information

Department for children, schools and families

Care Matters, green paper on children in care

Care Matters: Time for Change

Kevin Brennan

Essential information on children in care

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