A new Policy paper has been published by the Department for Education Higher education – Principles to guide higher education providers on improving care leavers access and participation in higher education.

Two thirds of children enter care as a result of abuse and neglect. They often experience instability during their time in care, in particular where foster placements break down. This often results in disruptions to their education and poor emotional health and well-being. And they then face the challenges of living independently without the emotional and financial support from parents that their peers enjoy.

Care leavers are some of the most vulnerable young people in society and often have to make the transition from care to independence without the support from parents and wider support networks that other young people rely on. HE providers should think about how they can fill this gap by providing appropriate help and assistance.

The government is committed to improving their outcomes and has produced this note for HE providers on how they can:

  • help increase the number of students in care who apply to and access higher education
  • ensure that care leavers who go in to HE are given the support they need to succeed

The principles include guidance and information on how care leavers can be supported into higher education and sources of help during their journey.

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children's social care policies and procedures