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Leaving care

When you are looked after there will come a time when you have to leave your foster family or children’s home. 

You might be going back to live with your family, but if you have been looked after for a long time it’s more likely you’ll be moving into a home of your own. You shouldn’t be made to feel that you have to leave care before you are ready. Before any move takes place your IRO should check with you and everyone at your review how ready you are for this move and how well you’ve been prepared. This is important as it is also about making sure you are able to keep yourself safe.

This might feel a bit scary as there are lots of things you’ll have to think about, like whether you want to carry on in education or get a job. There will be things you need to learn, like how to look after yourself, how to cook and shop (not as easy as it sounds!), how to manage money, how to get a place at college or how to get a job. 

Children’s services will help to prepare you for all of this. Before you are 16 your carers and social worker should be helping you to get ready for living on your own, making sure you have learned the right skills and helping you make big decisions about what you want to do. The change from being looked after to living independently should be slow and gradual with a lot of support, just like it is for most people who grow up with their own families.

To find out more information about leaving care please visit Hillingdon’s Young People’s website:

Young Hillingdon – Leaving Care