Your Rights as a Care Leaver

Here you can find an introduction to, and key information  related to your rights if you are leaving care. 

What hapens when you leave care?


Everyone leaves care at 18 but you are still entitled to support after you leave. This will be provided by the local council who supported you while you were in care and their are other organisations who can also provide support. 

Your local council must provide you with support until you’re 25. When you leave care there’ll be a meeting to help you work out what you’re going to do next.

  • At age 16, you’ll be given a plan to help you make the transition from care to independent life

  • When you turn 18 you’re no longer in care  but your council must still provide you with some support, including a personal adviser and plan.

  • When you reach 21 you can continue to get help and advice from the council and a personal adviser until you’re 25, if you want to.

What the council (local authority) must do to help you

The council must:

  • Provide a personal adviser who stays in touch with you once you’ve left care.

  • Carry out an assessment to find out what advice and support you need - they must also prepare a plan to make this happen (called a ‘pathway plan’)

  • Make sure you’ve got somewhere to live and enough money (until you turn 18)

  • Help you to continue living with your foster parent if you want to (until you turn 21)

Every local authority in the country has to publish something called the 'Local Offer' this is all about what they will do to support young people as they leave care. 

The local offer contains information on:

  • Key Contacts

  • Accommodation

  • Education, employment and Training

  • Finances

  • Your health

  • Participation in Society

  • Additional Support

  • Young People with Disabilities

Essex has a Local Offer, you can find the local offer document on the Essex County Council website -

Who can help me understand my rights?

Your social worker and any other adults who work with you can help explain your rights to you and will support you to understand them. 

You should speak to your social worker or other adults who work with you if you have any questions related to your rights. 

What else am i entitled to?

As a care leaver you are also entitled to other kinds of support, such as financial support. 

This is all covered in the local offer document and we have some information about this on this site. 



YOU HAVE RIGHTS  – You have ceratin rights as a care leaver. Its important you understand what these are, reading the Local Offer document is a good place to start and you can also ask your social worker or other adults who work with you to explain your rights to you. 

THERE IS HELP AVAILABLE – There are organisations that can support you. A good place to start is the Children in Care Council, they can provide support and help ewith information.