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Leaving Care and Becoming Independent

How the Authority supports former Looked after Children so that they can live as independent adults.

The local authority retains a level of responsibility for former looked after children until they reach the age of 21 (or up to 24 if they are in full-time education). It aims to support them into adulthood in such a way that their independence level increases as they acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be able to access services and resources for themselves, and to exercise their rights and responsibilities as independent adults.

Every 16 and 17 year old who has been looked after by a local authority for 13 weeks or more after the age of 14 is required to have a Pathway Plan and a Personal Advisor.  This applies even if they have returned to live with their family after being looked after. 

The Pathway Plan sets out the way that the local authority and partner organisations in the independent or voluntary sector propose to support the needs of the young person during their transition to independence.  The plan should address the young person's education or training needs, employment and accommodation.

The Swansea Leaving CareOpens new window website offers practical information to individuals leaving care as well as useful contact numbers.  

There is also information about leaving care on - Leaving CareOpens new window

The Barnados Bays Project provides confidential help, advice and support for young people leaving care and young people who are homeless.

Tel: 01792 455105


The Children's Commissioner for Wales' MyPlanner app is designed to help and advise young people in care and care leavers as they think about leaving care, and make the transition from care to independent living. It contains information on rights, financial help, a budget calculator, and an updated independent living section with tasty recipes and cleaning tips.

Children's Commissioner - My PlannerOpens new window

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