Why is a leaving care plan important
Research shows that helping young people to feel connected, secure and supported is vital to ensuring an easy transition to adulthood.
For young people in out-of-home care, planning for the future (or leaving care) can be daunting, but with the right support, early planning and services tailored to their needs, they can grow with confidence and feel prepared to face adulthood.
For a leaving care plan to be purposeful and relevant, caseworkers, carers and young people need to talk together. This helps create awareness and agreement on who is doing what, and makes it easier to identify what kind of support young people will need to achieve their goals and ambitions.The leaving care plan simply records this information and becomes a living resource and reference guide for that young person’s journey as he or she prepares to (legally) leave care.
Caseworkers and carers should think about how to prepare a young person, as best as possible, for the realities of independence and adulthood. Learning essential life skills, building supportive social networks and ensuring education and health needs are addressed are the types of things that will help build a sufficient level of emotional maturity and readiness for the adult world.
The key is to start planning early and talk regularly with the young person about their hopes, goals and dreams and remember that their needs change. It’s critical for young people to build connections and positive relationships that can grow with them and wrap around them as they face the challenges of being a teenager and young adult.