Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “We know that thousands of care leavers are moving out before they are ready, leaving some of the most vulnerable at risk.
“The average home leaving age is 24, yet young men and women who are dealing with severe challenges like the legacy of abuse and neglect, emotional and mental health issues, have to manage without support, some of them only 18.
“The difficulties that these young people face don’t disappear overnight, so support must be more flexible and gradual to meet their needs, not cut off on their birthday.
“Government should take these important recommendations seriously and work to give all care leavers the chance to achieve their potential.”
When Action for Children spoke to care leavers about their experiences one young woman shared that at 16 she was given the option of staying in a homeless shelter with seven older men, three of whom had just been released from prison.