Northern Ireland Care Leavers Aged 16–18 2012/13
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today published a statistical bulletin summarising information on young care leavers aged 16 to 18 in Northern Ireland who left care during the year ending 31 March 2013.
Key findings indicate care leavers continue to have higher proportions of young people coping with disability (14%) than in the general population (6%), and in terms of education higher proportions of care leavers had received Statements of Educational Need (22%) compared with the general school population (4%).
In regards to educational attainment, the proportion of care leavers obtaining 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or higher was 18% in 2012/13, similar to that in 2011/12 (19%); this remains much lower than for school leavers as a whole (77%). The proportion of young people leaving care with no qualifications has declined over recent years and was 32% in 2012/13. This is however over 15 times that for general school leavers (2%).
Of care leavers for whom information was available, over half were in education or training (62%), the same as in 2011/12, 7% were working, 30% were unemployed or economically inactive. Care leavers with no qualifications were almost twice as likely as those with qualifications to be unemployed or economically inactive.
Summary Key Findings
• During 2012/13, 263 young people aged 16-18 left care in Northern Ireland, of which 48% (125) were girls and 52% (138) were boys;
• Over four fifths (81%) of care leavers left care because they had reached 18 years of age;
• 14% of care leavers were disabled, of which three fifths had a learning disability;
• About one fifth (22%) of care leavers had been subject to a Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN) whilst attending school, compared with 4% of the general school population;
• In terms of educational attainment, the proportion of care leavers obtaining 5 GCSEs (grades A*-C) or higher was 18% in 2012/13 compared with 77% of general school leavers;
• The proportion of young people leaving care with no qualifications was 32% in 2012/13, compared with 2% of general school leavers;
• For care leavers for whom information was available, over half were in education or training (62%), the same as in 2011/12, 7% were working and 30% were unemployed or economically inactive;
• Care leavers in foster care prior to leaving care appeared to be at an economic advantage on leaving care, with 90% moving into education, training or employment.