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nearly half of 308 care leavers surveyed said they left care too early and badly prepared

13 March 2012

In 1999, the House of Lords ruled in Barrett –v- Enfield, opening the door to what we now call ” failure to nurture” claims.

Barrett had been in care until the age of 17 during which he had two foster placements and was at 6 different residential homes. He alleged the nature of long term planning was inadequate and that he left care without family or attachments. As a result he suffered psychiatric illness.

This week’s After care report suggests that at least in some parts of the country, things have not changed.

The report concludes that 46% of care leavers thought they were made to leave care too early and 49% thought they had been prepared badly or very badly. Of course, it is all a matter of perspective, and who knows whether these young people would have fared better had they not been in care, but the possibility of claims is another worry for all those organisations who work with care leavers.

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