Who is a care leaver?

It can often be confusing understanding the terms that councils use to describe care leavers. These terms are used to help define what support and entitlements you will receive. We understand that this isn’t language young people would choose to explain their experience of being cared for, your personal advisor or social worker will be able to support you with understanding this.

If you are unsure if you are a care leaver, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Hub where someone will be able to help you with this information.

Eligible Care Leaver

You are an Eligible Care Leaver if:

  • you are currently looked after; and
  • aged 16 or 17; and
  • you have been looked after for a period of 13 weeks (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after you reached 14 and ended after you reached 16

Relevant Care Leaver

You are a Relevant Care Leaver if:

  • you are no longer looked after by the Local Authority but you have been ‘Eligible’ ; and
  • are aged 16 or 17 years old;
  • You were 'Eligible' immediately before being detained or in hospital;
  • or lived for continuous period of 6 months or more with a parent, someone with parental responsibility and where those arrangements break down.

Former Relevant

You are a Former Relevant Care Leaver if:

  • if you are aged 18 years or above; and
  • have been either a Relevant or Eligible child when under 18 

If at the age of 21 or before reaching the age of 25 you are in education or training, then you will remain a former relevant child until the end of the agreed programme.

Qualifying Care Leaver

You are a Qualifying Care Leaver if:

  • you are at least 16 but under 21; and
  • you were looked after immediately prior to the making of a special guardianship order which was in force when you reached 18;

or if at any time after reaching the age of 16, but before reaching the age of 18 you have been:

  • a looked after child; and
  • accommodated by or on behalf of a voluntary organisation, registered children’s home, or by a health authority or privately fostered.

As a Qualifying Care Leaver you are able to access advice and assistance based on a needs assessment completed by the Leaving Care Team but you will not be entitled to the full care leaver offer.

© Wigan Council