We want to permanently #EndTheCareCliff and the expectation of ‘independence’ asked of young people as they approach 18.
We are calling on the Government to #EndTheCareCliff.
What’s the problem?
Too many young people are expected to leave care before they feel ready, falling at a time in their life when they need stability the most. Young care leavers that Become supports have described that time as a “cliff edge” or “like being on death row, counting down the days” until their 18th birthday when their placements are abruptly stopped, and they are expected to become ‘independent’ overnight – often without the support that every young person needs to thrive.
Why is this important?
More and more teenagers are being failed each year by the system’s ‘fixation on independence’ and without the support they need to prepare for adulthood. This can lead to young people leaving care being at a greater risk of poverty, mental ill health and homelessness. Our young people deserve much better.
What needs to change?
As the Government considers its response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, we are calling on the Government to #EndTheCareCliff by ensuring that no young person should have to leave care before they’re ready and ensuring that all young care leavers are provided with the support they need to be happy, healthy and fulfil their potential.
What do we want from the Government?
Extend the Staying Put and Staying Close schemes for all care-experienced young people up to 25, and ensure the schemes are fully funded.
Provide an enhanced offer of support for all young people leaving care, which includes targeted support across health, education, employment, housing, relationships, and financial support.
Create legislation to share corporate parenting responsibilities across a wide range of public bodies and authorities, following consultation with care-experienced young people.
For some young people, the care cliff sadly starts earlier at age 16 or 17 when they move into ‘supported accommodation’. We believe every child in care deserves care. That’s why we support #KeepCaringTo18 and #EndTheCareCliff.
care leavers aged 17-21 in England (this number is increasing every year).
of all care leavers aged 18 continued to live with their foster carers in 2022 (this drops significantly by age 20).
of care leavers aged 19-21 were not in education, employment or training (aka NEET) in 2022, compared to 11% of all young people aged 19-21.
There shouldn’t be an overnight switch in how you’re treated by the system, who supports you, and where you live.
⎯⎯ Our Sky's the Limit Young Design Group
2020: #EndTheCareCliff campaign launch
During National Care Leavers’ Week 2020, we launched our campaign to raise awareness of the #EndTheCareCliff alongside care-experienced young people and a number of other celebrities and supporters, including actress Samantha Morton, broadcaster DJ Annie Mac and podcaster Deborah Frances-White.
2021: Sky's the Limit
During National Care Leavers’ Week 2021, we launched a new group project – Sky’s the Limit – to redesign ‘leaving care’ and offer a fresh and aspirational vision for how the care system should be supporting care-experienced young adults.
We decided to think BIG and ask: What would it look like if care didn’t leave you? What should the care system be for young adults? What if the ‘care cliff’ didn’t exist? What would be there instead?
Our Sky’s the Limit project provided a blank canvas for11 young care–experienced people to share their knowledge,memories, hopes and dreams and create a vision where care didn’t abruptly endbut continued tohelp them reach their potential and lead happy, successful lives.