Are You a Care Leaver and Eligible for Support?

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Victoria Pogge von Strandmann

Partner, Head of Public Law and Human Rights

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Our Public Law Solicitors advise a large number of young people over the age of 18 but those under 25 who aren’t receiving support from children’s services as care leavers – even though they’re clearly entitled to it. So how do you know if you might be a care leaver and still eligible for support?

  • Were you provided with accommodation which was arranged by a social worker or someone in social services (or children’s services) while you were still aged under 18? Or was the accommodation provided by the housing department, but a social worker was involved in your case?
  • Were you provided with the accommodation for 13 weeks or more?
  • Did the accommodation continue until you turned 18 or, if it stopped earlier, did it stop less than 6 months before you turned 18?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then you may have become a “former relevant child” or “care leaver” when you turned 18. And that means you can get support from children’s services potentially up to the age of 25, even if children’s services explicitly told you that this doesn’t apply to you.

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What Type of Support Can You Get?

  • A personal adviser, who can provide practical advice and support to care leavers on areas such as accessing education, housing and claiming benefits.
  • A pathway plan – a document which should set out your needs and how they are going to be met. It should outline how children’s services will help you achieve your goals in life and tell you who will help with each issue, what they are going to do, and when that help will be provided to you.
  • Other support which is tailored to your needs.

All care leavers between the ages of 18 and 25 can get support, whether they’re in education or not.

The law requires Local Authorities to publish information about the services it will offer to care leavers that may help them prepare for adulthood and independent living. This is called the 'local offer for care leavers' and should be updated when appropriate.

 

How Could this Affect You?

If you believe you may be a care leaver, but are not getting any support from children’s services, this may be something which can be challenged.

If you don’t believe that you’re receiving adequate support, or if you’ve notified children’s services that you’d like to access support and you’re still not receiving it, then please get in touch with our Public Law Solicitors. If you aren’t sure whether you’re a care leaver, or whether you’re entitled to support from children’s services, we can help you – just reach out and we can advise you.

 

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

We represent parents, children and young people, not Local Authorities.  We’re focused on giving expert help to you so you can navigate the system and get the solutions that you or a child or young person needs.

Our Public Law Solicitors ensure that public authorities obey the law and act rationally and fairly. We know this is not always the case and specialise in challenging decisions and securing compensation for our clients.

If you need help with an issue like this, then get in touch with one of our specialist Public Law Lawyers on 0808 239 1344.

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Victoria Pogge von Strandmann

Partner, Head of Public Law and Human Rights

Areas of Expertise:
Public Law & Human Rights

Victoria joined Simpson Millar in 2010, has been a partner since 2015 and is joint head of the Public Law and Human Rights Department.

Victoria has over 16 years’ PQE and has spent the last 14 years specialising in public law challenges concerning the rights of children and vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and has developed a reputation for excellence in her field.

References

www.simpsonmillar.co.uk. (2023). Human Rights Lawyers | Public Law | Simpson Millar Solicitors. [online] Available at: https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/public-law-and-human-rights/.

‌Londoncouncils.gov.uk. (2022). Children’s Services | London Councils. [online] Available at: https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/our-key-themes/local-government-finance/london%E2%80%99s-local-services-investing-future/future-financial-0.

Coram Voice. (n.d.). My rights as a relevant child. [online] Available at: https://coramvoice.org.uk/myrights/my-rights-when-i-am-leaving-care/my-rights-as-a-relevant-child/ [Accessed 2 May 2024].

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