You may or may not recognise some alarming figures that highlight some of the more negative moments in a care leavers life. Research shows there to be disproportionate numbers of care leavers in the prison system, juvenile and adult, male and female, cutting across all indices of deprivation and disadvantage. 25+ per cent of the adult prison population has previously been in care, even though children in care and care leavers account for less than 1 per cent of the total population. Over a quarter of young men (27%) and over half of young women (55%) in the 15 – 18 age group have spent some time in local authority care.
These figures can only ever be estimates and underestimates at best. Indeed, the true picture would put anywhere between 25 – 50% of all those in custody having spent some or all of their life in care.