Please note that this page contains links to external, independent websites. The CLA does not necessarily approve of all content contained on those websites. Links are divided up into sections to direct you to the most useful information.
These provide direct links to the Acts. The most important Act, still, is the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000. This sets out the main duties of local authorities with respect to children leaving their care after the age of 18.
Care leavers’ organisations
A National Voice is run by and for care-experienced young people in the United Kingdom. It represents children in care and care leavers up to the age of 25. Everyone who is under 25 and is or has been in care in England is automatically a member. All staff are care experienced. Their aims are similar to ours, even though the age ranges we cover are different. They are based in Manchester but also have a London office and their National Co-ordinator is Maxine Wrigley.
This is a special part of the Care Leavers’ Association website. It is similar to Friendsreunited, but is for people who have been in care. You can register your old children’s home or register under ‘foster care’ in a certain area and hopefully get back in touch with people that you knew from your time in care.
P.O.Box 164, Georges Hall, 2198, NSW, Australia. Leonie Sheedy is the Executive Officer. This is a great site for Australian care leavers, especially those who experienced abuse in state child care in Australia. It’s worth browsing around this site as they have some useful material.
In the United States, the term ‘foster care’ is used to refer to children in all forms of care, including residential care. This organisation is similar to the Care Leavers’ Association. It has members of all ages from 18 upwards. It was formed in 2006. It is supported by a foster care provider but two-thirds of its Directors have been in care. It seeks to put people who have been in care in touch with each other and to improve the system for children in care and leaving care. Check out their website and you’ll find out a lot more about them.
Advice, advocacy and support
The CAB website provides independent online advice about your rights, including benefits and legal advice.
NYAS is a UK charity providing children’s rights and socio-legal services throughout England and Wales. They offer information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children and young people up to the age of 25.
Voice is a UK-wide voluntary organisation that provides advocacy services for and campaigns for children and young people in public care. They work with many children and young people looked after by the state, including those in children’s homes, foster care, secure units and secure training centres, young offender institutions and unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.
The Children’s Legal Centre is an independent national charity concerned with law and policy affecting children and young people. The Children’s Legal Centre has many years of experience in providing legal advice and representation to children, their carers and professionals throughout the UK.
The website contains information on the rights of young people and the laws that affect all aspects of their lives – education, healthcare, discrimination, policing, age-based laws, leaving home and more. It also contains information for young people who are in care or leaving care and for migrant children
The Who Cares? Trust do a lot of good work with young people in care. They are best known for their quarterly magazine, which goes to thousands of children in care and which children in care and care leavers help to write. They also publish various guides, especially around education and health.
Provides a free, confidential helpline that gives young people in difficult situations support and information with anything from a listening ear to somewhere safe to stay for the night. Calls are free from all landlines and mobile phones.
SupportLine offers confidential emotional support to children, young adults and adults by telephone, email and post. They work with callers to develop healthy, positive coping strategies, an inner feeling of strength and increased self esteem to encourage healing, recovery and moving forward with life. They also keep details of counsellors, agencies and support groups throughout the UK.
The aim of this website is to provide the UK with a network of counselling support and access to help which is appropriate to individual need. The service is free, confidential and encourages those in distress to seek help.
Counsellors on the website have either sent a copy of their qualifications and insurance cover to the Counselling Directory or are registered with a professional body online with recognised codes of ethics and practice. This is a potentially useful site for those looking for support or general advice about counselling.
Careers, education and training
Established to run small grants scheme for care leavers aged up to 29. Also campaigns on issues affecting care leavers.
CELCIS is an academic, research and training organisation mainly funded by the Scottish government. Its primary aim is to work with young people in care, care leavers and sector staff to develop and present high quality research and teaching that shapes good practice in Scotland.
The Princes Trust has historically done a lot of work with young people from care. For example, it has run mentoring schemes for care leavers and offered help with grants, education and training. It can also provide help for young people (up to the age of 30) who are interested in setting up a busines.
Care Homes, Records and Heritage
A major national charity. Formerly National Children’s Home (NCH). Does work of various kinds with vulnerable children, including looked after children and care leavers.
This site contains information on former Fegan’s children’s homes in the South East of England. It also provides a free service for anyone who was once a resident at one of the homes, or is a relative of someone who was, who is trying to trace a family member. Just go to the ‘history’ section of the menu.
This one-year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Birmingham City Council aimed to develop a history of Council-run children’s homes in Birmingham so that the thousands of people who have been in residential care in the city would have access to information about the homes. You can find information on various homes here.
‘Signposts’ is a resource for adult care leavers who want to access their records. It covers over 200 institutions in Western Australia. These are almost all residential institutions and it covers records from the 1920s onwards. It has been set up by the government of Western Australia.
A history of the migration of children in care from Scotland to Canada between 1869-1939. This website includes photographs and stories as well as facts about the history of the migration process.
The Eastwell Lodge website is primarily for former residents and staff of a residential home which once stood in Moor Lane, Carleton, Pontefract, West Yorkshire. The aim of the site is to facilitate the renewal of old acquaintances and to provide a platform for collective memories and news.
The Childcare History Network is an organisation for sharing information about the history of child care and develop ways of preserving, valuing and promulgating the history of child care. Members of the Network include former children in care, social workers, administrators, academics, researchers, students, archivists, museum professionals, librarians, psychotherapists, writers. Anyone or any organisation or institution with an interest or concern for child care and its history is welcome to join.
A major oral history project, sharing heritage and memories. Based in Toddington in Gloucestershire, the Planned Environment Therapy Trust’s charitable mission is to support, promote, record, value and celebrate therapeutic work in caring, healing environments, institutions and communities for children, young people and adults, through the use of its Archive and Study Centre and Conference Facilities. There are lots of first-hand stories of residential care on here and a project report that can be downloaded.
Abuse in care
Run by survivors of institutional abuse in Canada. Has an international focus.
NAPAC is the National association for People Abused in Childhood. It has an information line that refers people to relevant groups and support in their area.
This is a good group for people who have been through the boarding school system. Obviously, a lot of their concerns about what happens to children in boarding schools overlap with our own concerns about what happens to children in care.
The SurvivorScotland website has been developed by the Scottish Government to improve the lives of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It provides a wide range of material about abuse, all in one place. It is a networking resource for a wide variety of interested people, and it gives useful links to other websites that may also be helpful.
Survivors Manchester is a survivor-led/survivor-run voluntary organisation that aims to create and facilitate a safe space for male survivors of sexual abuse and rape to work through personal and sometimes painful issues. Their work is concentrated on empowering men to make their own positive life choices and begin their own journey of healing.
Survivors Manchester is a member of The Survivors Trust – a national umbrella organisation for all voluntary services working with victims and survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse. More information on The Survivors Trust can be found by clicking here.
ACAL is an organisation of lawyers and other legal professionals who are experienced in working with adults who were abused as children. Members of ACAL have helped many care leavers who were abused in the care system. They have been in existence since 1997. The CLA has had friendly links with ACAL since 2005, so that we can do more for care leavers who have experienced abuse whilst in care.
DABS pathfinder service is a signposting organization that provides free support all over the UK and the Republic of Ireland to anyone and any organization regarding issues to do with childhood abuse, incest and rape. All the telephone contacts listed on the website are professional counsellors or therapists who work in this field and they are committed to providing confidential help and information.
A West Yorkshire information hub for sexual violence – abuse suvivors