A Care Leaver is any adult who spent time in care as a child (i.e. under the age of 18). This care would have been approved by the state through a court order or on a voluntary basis. It can range from as little as a few months to as long as ones whole childhood (18 years). Such care could be in foster care, residential care (mainly children’s homes) or other arrangements outside the immediate or extended family.
The care could have been provided directly by the state (mainly through local authority social services departments) or by the voluntary or private sector (e.g. Barnardos, The Children’s Society and many others). It also includes a wide range of accommodation.