Still Caring? Supporting Care Leavers in Scotland

Date: 31st March 2013
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care
Author: Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children

The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) have produced a briefing on supporting care leavers in Scotland, outlining the legal, policy and practice positions for working with care leavers, before going on to situate the importance of lived experiences of leaving care by young people and adult care leavers.

The briefing considers the gaps in provisions and the needs of care leavers up to the age of 25 as this is the age group suggested in the new Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.

CELCIS propose that there is an extension in legislation, policy and practice to support care leavers financially, practically and emotionally up to the age of 25 should they wish to receive this support.

The report concludes that research studies show that better outcomes can be achieved for care leavers by positively extending their time in a care placement to 18+ and ensuring that their transition from care to independence is gradual. Yet despite this, many care leavers experience accelerated and compressed transitions.

Additionally, the report concludes that it is paramount that young people in care are encouraged, enabled and supported to remain positively in quality foster and residential care settings until they are ready to leave. It is also crucial that emotional support that has been provided by key people in young people's lives whilst they are in care is carried through into throughcare, aftercare and adulthood.