Since 2015 young people who are in care have been entitled to accommodation and support to help them make the transition into adulthood. In certain circumstances, young people have the option to stay in care up to the age of 21 and an entitlement to stronger after care support up to the age of 26.  

However, we have found in our work with care experienced young people that these rights are not being respected or realised – many care leavers are not being provided with the support they are entitled to. This can mean that they struggle as they are moving into adult life.  

We have been granted 5 years of funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to use the law in order to help care leavers realise their rights and challenge decision makers when they do not meet their legal duty towards care leavers. The Care Leavers Law Service will primarily provide legal advice and representation to care leavers. We hope to find cases that question and challenge practice at a high level, because we aim to change it. 

 As part of the dedicated Care Leavers Law Service we will additionally provide practical training and step-by-step guidance to those working with and supporting care leavers so they can help care leavers to assert their rights and easily access legal help where it’s needed. We will also take what we learn from the project and feed it back to people with an influence in making the law work better for care leavers.  

The Care Leavers Law Service will be led by Alison Reid and Julia Donnelly and coordinated by Ashley Cameron to ensure that callers get a child-centered response to their enquiry and to assess whether they need a solicitor, provide them with helpful information and signpost them to appropriate sources of help or arrange for them to speak to or meet with one of our solicitors.   

For enquiries or for more information on this service- please contact [email protected]