Children in care and care leavers

Coming into care

When you come into care, we'll make sure your life's as normal as possible. You'll still be able to do the things you used to do at home, like going to schoolseeing your friends and family and having fun.

You'll have the same opportunities to do well in life and achieve your potential as all the other kids your age.

We know that moving away from home can be confusing, and perhaps upsetting, but try not to worry. We'll help you settle in and make sure you're safe and happy.

Why you come into care

There's lots of reasons why you might come into care. Your parents might be ill, or abroad for a while, and not able to look after you. It could be it's not safe for you to stay at home and you need a safe place to live.

The time you spend in care depends on what's happening at home and why you had to come into care. You could be in care for a few days, a week, a month, or for much longer. Some young people can be in care until they're 18.

Cafcass is an organisation that supports children and young people in family court cases.

Find out more about Cafcass

Living in care

When you first come into care you've probably got loads of questions you want to ask about what it's like being in care and what will happen to you.

To help you we've included lots of useful information on this website about being in care, your health and education, your rights while you're in care, and how to have your say about the care and support you need.

If you're still not sure about anything, talk to your social worker.

People who can support you

Expectations for our children in care

For all our children and young people in care, we’ve set out what you can expect from us and how we’ll care for you.

We’ll make sure you get a good education, help you to enjoy life, and prepare you for the future. Children and young people already in care helped us to write these expectations.

When you first come into care you’ll be given your own booklet outlining the expectations below. If you’d like a printable version of these please email

Leaving care

You can leave care when you reach 18. 

Leaving care and becoming independent is a big step, so before you leave we'll make sure that you're well prepared.

Information for care leavers

Care4Us Council

The Care4Us Council is a forum for children and young people in care and care leavers, who meet regularly to share their ideas and experiences.

Care4Us Council forum

Jargon buster

Find out what some of the words and terms mean that social workers and other professionals use.

View the A to Z

Something to celebrate

We want to celebrate our children in care and care leavers' successes. Whatever you've achieved, big or small, we want to recognise and celebrate it.

Share your success

Please leave us some feedback