Care Leaving

“We’ve made some great progress, but as the national Care Review notes, ‘The disadvantage faced by our care experienced community should be the civil rights issue of our time’ – there is so much more we can do together. We are determined to make a difference. ”  Jacqui McShannon, DCS LBHF and ALDCS Strategic Lead…

Each London borough currently has a care leaver support offer, but these are individual to each area and therefore the support offered varies.  Challenges also arise because care leavers often live outside their responsible borough.  Furthermore, support offers have historically been weighted towards Local Authorities and more support can be co-ordinated with a range of partners, adopting a ‘community parenting’ approach.

The Pan London Care Leavers Compact provides a framework for developing consistency, breadth and quality in support offers.  It brings together statutory and other partners via a Care Leavers Trust Board to develop offers for London’s care leavers.  These offers are grouped together in the Compact, effectively a set of commitments to London’s care leavers. The project, which arose from 2021 DfE seed funding,  is facilitated by LIIA and Partnership for Young London. The Care Leavers Trust Board is chaired by three Directors of Children’s Services (Jacqui McShannon, LBHF, Stephen Kitchman, Bexley, and Debbie Jones, Croydon)  and the London Children in Care Council are closely involved throughout. 

The partners have secured, or are near to securing, the following offers for a first version of the Compact:

Mayor of London / TFL:

  • 50 % reduced travel costs on buses/trams

London’s ICB’s:

  • Exemption to prescription charges
  • Education Training and Employment pilots in North Central and North West London

Local Authorities:

  • Becoming signatories to the Care Leaver Covenant
  • Housing offers including: council tax exemption, rent deposit schemes, intentional homelessness/priority need positions, and joint housing/children’s protocols

The first iteration of the Care Leavers Compact will be launched in early 2024.  As further London offers are secured, they will be added to the Compact.

Wider ambition; Care Leaving as an ALDCS priority area.

The Care Leavers Trust Board will build on the momentum of the Care Leavers Compact and its ‘community parenting’ partnership to further improve care leaver outcomes.  ALDCS decided in May ’23 to adopt Care Leaving as its fifth strategic priority.  Additional funding from the DfE will help develop regional programs in Health, Relationships, Housing, and ETE.  Within these themes, specific attention will be given to former Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, who make up 36% of the London cohort. Through the collaborative efforts of the Care Leavers Trust Board, stakeholders, and partners, we aspire to create a transformative impact on the lives of London’s care leavers.

Project Goals

A brief overview of the aims of the project:

  • Develop consistent, broad and high quality support of London’s Care Leavers
  • Secure a series of London-wide support offers that sit together under an overarching Pan London Care Leavers Compact
  • Ensure awareness and accessibility of these support offers to Care Leavers
  • Use the networks and momentum this project generates to further develop regional practice in the support of Care Leavers


  • Develop new support offers for London’s care leavers
  • Increase the consistency of support offers and connect these with care leavers
  • Establish a ‘community parenting’ approach across statutory, VCS and business partners
  • Identify and enact regional measures to improve care leavers’ experience of health, ETE, housing, and relationships 
  • Ensure that our work is properly supporting care leavers with immigration needs


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Governance group is the Care Leavers Trust Board