We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who are Care Leavers?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Care leavers are those children who have left foster care, or who at 18 are no longer provided with foster care or housing as wards of the state. The term is more common in the UK and in Australia, but is beginning to be used in the US. More commonly, kids and young adults considered care leavers in the US are referred to as having “aged out” of the system.

In most countries where foster care exists, there is some help for kids who reach 18 and find themselves without homes. Some countries will do their utmost to help provide these kids with financial assistance and housing assistance until they are 21. Yet there are disturbing statistics about care leavers.

In the UK, some care leavers decide to live on their own at the ages of 16 years or up. These children have an alarming low rate of high school graduation opposed to their peers who are not in system care. Moreover, in the US, aged out kids are less likely to attend college, to maintain jobs for a year or more, and are more likely to commit crimes and end up in jail. Even when state care has been excellent, care leavers are less likely to have good financial management skills and knowledge of basic care like knowing how to cook, shop, or do laundry.

These statistics alone suggest that the type of care provided for these children is inadequate to prepare for adulthood. Moreover, what many of these young adults lack is a family setting to which they can return for support and advice. There are organizations, online and through various state agencies that may help bridge this gap for some care leavers, but some have become damaged by the very system that supported them, due to inadequate care in group home or foster home settings. Even when group homes and foster homes provide great care, children in foster settings are usually there due to difficult circumstances in their primary family, and damage to the psyche from parenting found abusive or inadequate cannot be underestimated.

There are some tremendously good foster parents who stay committed to their foster kids who turn 18 and step in as role models and support for these children. They may not be receiving extra financial help from the state for children who have aged out, and sometimes great foster parents simply can’t afford to continue care at the same level with kids who are legally adults. A few pilot programs have attempted to work with care leavers, sometimes creating housing situations for them together, or finding foster parents or mentors who are willing to provide that home base setting. These programs seem successful but are not universally adopted, and there are many former system kids who don’t have access to such programs.

Care leavers continue to pose a challenge to a society. As former wards of the state, they are in essence the state’s young adults or the “village’s” children. Advocates for these young adults suggest that more programs be available to these new adults to help them navigate the world, continue to pursue education, and make sound choices that will not only benefit them but the whole society. Most importantly, these new adults need support, counseling and continued access to government services that will help them set their feet on the path to personal success.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.