A previously unpublished YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Barnardo’s found that:
- Only 5 per cent of UK parents expected their children to leave home by 18
- More than a quarter (27 per cent) of UK parents expected them to be at least 26
- 64 per cent of UK parents expected them to be at least 22 before they left home
Care leavers are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, who are more likely to become homeless, be unemployed and spend time in prison:
- Care leavers show significantly lower academic achievement than their peers – just 12.8 per cent of children in care gain five GCSEs compared to the national average of more than 57.9 per cent.
- Children in care are four times more likely to have a mental health disorder.
- Of the young people in the youth justice system, more than 40 per cent have been in local authority care at some point. 23 per cent of the adult prison population has previously been in care.
Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said:Each child has something unique to offer our society and deserves an equal start in adult life.
Children leaving care are often the most vulnerable young people in our society who need the most support. Unfortunately this support is often not available nor is it consistent across the country.
Paradoxically only care leavers who are in education, employment or training get support until they are 25. Those who aren’t – and who arguably need it the most - do not.
That is why we are calling for support for all care leavers to be raised to the same age.”
The call comes six months after the Department for Education and Barnardo’s vice president, fashion designer and care leaver himself Bruce Oldfield launched the Care Leavers Charter.