According to the Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee only 8 out of 151 local councils know where all their care leavers live despite the fact that they have an obligation to stay in contact with them and despite Ofsted already rating two-thirds of care leavers’ services as inadequate or in need of improvement in November 2013.
According to The National Audit Office report: Care Leavers’ Transition to Adulthood, the number of young people that are leaving care has almost doubled in a decade (from 6,900 in 2003/04 to 10,310). Approximately 62% of children are in care because of neglect or abuse which can have serious and lasting effects on their mental and emotional health, however, due to high staff turnover, heavy workloads and an increasingly stretched budget, care leavers are not getting the support that they need.
The report also finds local authorities have no information on 17% of their 19- to 21-year-old care leavers, even though they are often vulnerable.
Care leavers often face difficulties in accessing their own health records, identification documents and personal history, it adds.
It also highlights that there are no official statistics on some aspects of care leavers’ lives, such as whether they have timely access to health services and whether they feel they left care at the right time.
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