Leaving care - planning for independence

Leaving care is a term used to describe young people who are in care, are 15 years or older and will formally leave care at age 18. In partnership with the young person and their care team, carers play a role in the leaving care process. The goal is to support young people in learning the living skills they will need as adults.

Planning for adulthood helps young people successfully live in their community after they reach 18. We want children to achieve safe, happy and fulfilling lives through a leaving care program that seeks to:

  • build resilience
  • secure at least one positive attachment
  • help them build a secure base involving family and support networks
  • support education, employment and ongoing involvement in the community

Transitioning to independance does not mean young people have to leave their carer or home. On the contrary, we want children to be able to stay with carers and continue to get support after they are 18, just like you would continue to support your children into adulthood.

Why Planning for Independence is important?

Research conducted by CREATE Foundation in 2009 revealed that children leaving care are more likely to be

  • Under-educated (not have completed high school).
  • Unemployed or underemployed, and earning lower wages (if employed)
  • Having children at a younger age
  • Incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system
  • Homeless at some stage
  • Living in unstable housing arrangements
  • Dependent on social assistance
  • Experiencing mental health problems and not able to afford adequate medical support
  • At a higher risk of substance abuse

We want care leavers to be supported and to live their lives well.

You can find more information by visiting these websites.

You can find more resources for care leavers with a disability by visiting these websites.

Needs of young people leaving care

Young people leaving care might need support with

  • accommodation
  • education, training and support
  • health and safety
  • personal identity and culture
  • social and peer networks
  • family
  • living skills
  • leisure
  • money management
  • after care

Talk to your care team about support for young people leaving care.

Want to become a carer?
To become a foster carer your ability to care and nurture a child is what really matters.
To learn more, visit the LWB foster care website