Young People Leaving Care: A Study of Costs and Outcomes

Every year, more than 6,000 young people formally leave the care of local authorities in England, most to establish independent lives as young adults in the community.1 In doing so, the burden of expectation placed upon their shoulders is large. As the evidence below suggests, these young people tend to make a series of overlapping transitions on the journey to adulthood and, for many, these are compressed into the first few months of leaving care. Finding a home, starting a career or a new family often occur simultaneously. It is a testimony to the resourcefulness and resilience of many young people that they manage this process quite successfully. Others, however, struggle to establish a foothold in the adultworld.