This book offers an authoritative overview of child care policy and practice in the UK. It covers assessment and family support services, understanding child maltreatment and protection, the care of looked after children, including the contribution of adoption, foster, and residential care, services for those leaving care and barriers facing disabled children and their families.
The book reflects the complexity and contested nature of children's needs, rights, and interests and relationships between family and state. It analyzes relevant debates and research and highlights practice issues and dilemmas. Readers are also directed to sources of further information on topics they may wish to explore in more depth. At the end of each chapter, there is guidance for further reading, resources for practice and questions for discussion.
The book is aimed at social work practitioners and professionals working with children and families as well as undergraduate students in childhood studies or social policy.
Chapter 8: Young People Leaving Care
Young People Leaving Care
Since their identification as a vulnerable group in the 1980s, there has been copious research into the plight of care leavers, much of it highlighting their difficulties and inadequacies in service provision for them, though arguably obscuring more positive outcomes. In this chapter, we review this research and policy and practice developments relating to care leavers, including proposals under the Care Matters initiative.
The term care leaver is a complex one and is applied only to a minority of all the children and young people who leave care. Above all, it is an age-related category, reserved for those aged 16 or over, who have spent more than a minimal time in care. In 2006–2007, roughly 8000 of the 24,700 ...