Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Leaving care

Hi there, my name is R* and am 16 in June 2015. Am in foster care and I want to leave the care system on my birthday to live with my boyfriend. Is that possible because I don't want to stay here any more.

Please write back

yours sincerely


Ask Sam


Hi there,

You could be able to leave at age 16 - but this might depend on the care order that was made when you first went into care. You could find out more about this by speaking to your social worker. 

At age 16, your local authority or social services will provide you with a plan to help you make the transition from being in care to independent life. At 18 you can leave care if you decide that you’re ready and there is a plan in place with the local council to support you.

The local authority can sometimes still be responsible for you when you are older than 18 if you are in education or training. This is different for different people. It often depends on individual needs and circumstances. It's always best to check if something like this applies to you. You can find out more about this and your rights and entitlements on the website

If you are unhappy with your foster placement or would like more advice about leaving care, it could help to speak to your social worker. They can give you more specific advice and support for your individual situation.

We have some information about living in care which you might like to check out.  You could also get in touch with a counsellor at ChildLine if you would like to talk things through some more.

Take care for now,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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