If you are a young person leaving care, we have a duty to help and support you until you turn 21 or for longer if you continue with your education or training. Recent changes to the law mean that you can receive help and support until you are 25 but this is optional.
The amount of support you can get when you leave care depends on your age and circumstances. It is often confusing understanding the terms we use to describe care leavers. You may need to know what term applies to you when understanding your rights and the support available.
A child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who is still being looked after.
A child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who has left care. This also includes young people who were detained (e.g. in a youth offending institution or hospital) when they turned 16, but who were looked after immediately before being detained.
Former relevant child
A young person aged 18 to 21 who was previously 'eligible' or 'relevant'. Councils support this group until aged 21, or longer if they are in education or training.
Any young person under 21 (or 24 if in education or training) who stops being looked after or accommodated in a variety of other settings, or being privately fostered, after the age of 16. This also includes young people who are under a special guardianship order.