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National Homeless Advice Service

Social services’ duties to care leavers

The Children Act 1989 requires children’s social services to prepare young people for leaving care and to support them up to a certain age.

The leaving care duties and the level of support owed to a young person depend on when the young person left care and how long they were in care for.

Detailed statutory guidance to the Children Act’s leaving care provisions can be found in Volume 3: Planning Transitions to Adulthood for Care Leavers.

The last local authority to have ‘looked after’ the care leaver remains responsible for meeting the leaving care duties, regardless of where the young person may now be living in England or Wales.[1]

For more information for advisers of young care leavers see the section Care leavers.

See also Shelter Legal: leaving care provisions.

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[1] s.23A(4) Children Act 1989.