Giving care leavers more control over their futures

This research explores care leavers’ routes into education and work, providing examples of best practice and recommendations to address the needs of young care leavers.

Funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), this report assesses the impact of Pathway Planning and the support of local authority Personal Advisers (PA) on care leavers’ access to and engagement with learning and/or work at transition stage ages 16 – 18 and up to 25.

The research took the form of national surveys, face to face and semi structured telephone interviews and care leaver focus groups.

By addressing the recommendations in this report, NIACE believes that:

  • Care leavers’ opportunities to make the right initial choices for education and work and remaining in education and/or work will be greatly enhanced.
  • Care leavers will be better informed about learning and work opportunities that exist locally.
  • The role of the Personal Adviser will be professionalised.
  • Pathway Planning for education and work that is holistic, tailored and emotionally supportive can be developed and promoted locally and nationally in a consistent way.
  • Care leavers will be at the centre of the Pathway Planning process, able to take full part and recognise the Pathway Plan as their contract with the local authority to access the practical and financial support they are entitled to.