Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Seeking for help!

Hello,I'm 15 years of age and I am private fostered by my deceased mothers friend,I have not long come out of care! I will be 16 in a couple of months and I want to know my rights? Do I have to stay where I am till I'm eighteen or can I still move out when I'm 16 without social services consent and all assessments checks done etc..! All I want is to know all my rights and what I am legally allowed to do without starting of a big fuss with social services,my family,etc as I do not want to go back into care.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Wanting to know your rights and getting information is a really important to make decisions. It’s very natural as you become a young adult that you want to know more about what you’re entitled to.

When you reach 18 years old, you are legally an adult. And this means that you can make any choice that you want to. You are in control and are responsible for your decisions. At 18 you can leave home with or without anybody’s permission. Where housing is involved you can legally sign a tenancy agreement.

At 16 it’s very natural to be feeling like you want more freedom. It’s sometimes called a time of ‘transition’ and this means that there is time to think about change. There can be many changes in life and people will have different ideas and feelings about what change means to them and how they feel about it.

At 16 you can move out of the care that is being provided for you, as long as you can take care of yourself and your emotional, physical and financial needs.

Ideally you do need permission. If you left without your carer’s permission they may get in touch with the police. They should make an assessment of the situation you’re in and whether it is safe for you to stay there or return you back to your carers.

The idea of social services making checks and assessments can feel frustration. But the important thing to remember is that these are there to make sure you’re getting all you deserve so that you don't suffer. To make sure that you’re getting the right help and support when you leave care and become independent you could get in touch with Coram Voice.

Starting out on your own can be really tough. Everything costs money and having a good support network around you to help you can be really beneficial. You also always have the support of a ChildLine counsellor - you can get in touch for advice at any time.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter