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Publication of ‘Northern Ireland Care Leavers Aged 16 – 18 2011/12’

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 2012.
Friday, 8 March 2013

Key findings indicate care leavers continue to have higher proportions of young people coping with disability (13%) than in the general population (6%), and in terms of education higher proportions of care leavers had received Statements of Educational Need (16%), compared with the general school population (4%).

Educational attainment continues to improve, the proportion of care leavers obtaining 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or higher has increased by 5 percentage points from 14% in 2010/11 to 19% in 2011/12; this remains much lower than for school leavers as a whole (73%); the proportion of care leavers leaving care with no qualifications increased, from 30% to 31% in 2011/12, this remains over 15 times that for general school leavers (2%).

Economically, of care leavers for whom information was available, over half were in education or training (62%), an increase of 5 percentage points from 2010/11, 5% were working, 33% were unemployed or economically inactive.

Summary Key Findings

  • During 2011/12, 233 young people aged 16-18 left care in Northern Ireland, of which 58% (134) were girls and 43% (99) were boys;
  • Almost three fifths (59%) of care leavers left care because they had reached 18 years of age;
  • 13% of care leavers were disabled, of which two fifths had a learning disability;
  • About one sixth (16%) 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, increased by five percentage points from 14% in 2010/11 to 19% in 2011/12, compared with 73% of general school leavers;
  • The proportion of young people leaving care with no qualifications was 31% in 2011/12, compared with 2% of general school leavers;
  • For care leavers for whom information was available, over half were in education or training (62%), an increase of four percentage points from 2010/11, 5% were working and 33% 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 over three quarters (77%) moving into education, training or employment, compared with 46% of care leavers from residential care placements.

Notes to editors:

1. All publications are available on the DHSSPS website

2. About the data:

  • The source of the data contained in this release is the Departmental OC1 statistical return, collected from HSC Trusts on an annual basis.
  • Figures incorporate all returns and amendments received from HSC Trusts up to 31 January 2012.

3. This statistical bulletin was produced by Community Information Branch, DHSSPS.

Further information is available from:

Community Information Branch
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Room 11, Annexe 2,
Castle Buildings,
Stormont Belfast BT4 3SQ

Tel: (028) 9052 0727
Fax: (028) 9052 3288
E-mail: cib@dhsspsni.gov.uk
Internet:http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/stats_research/stats-cib/stats-cib_pubs/stats_research_cib_oc1.htm

4. Media queries to DHSSPS Information Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.