Leaving care - planning for independence

Leaving care is a term used to describe children who are in care and are 15 years or older – they will formally leave care at age 18. You will play a role in the leaving care process in partnership with the child in your care and the rest of the care team, in particular supporting them with the many skills they will need as a young adult.

Planning for adulthood helps children 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 poistive attachment
  • help them build a secure base involving family and support networks
  • support education, employment and ongoing involvement in the community

Transitioning out of care does not mean children have to leave your care or home. 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 own 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