• Press release

Pan London Care Leavers Compact

Young people who have been in care in London can now get free prescriptions, discounted travel and housing support as part of the Pan London Care Leavers Compact, a co-ordinated city-wide support offer for care leavers launching today (Tuesday 5 March). 

The Compact’s purpose is to increase the consistency and quality of support offered to London’s care leavers.

London boroughs, NHS London region and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), the Mayor of London and TfL have come together to support this group of young people, recognising that as community leaders they can and should do more.

By joining the Compact and providing funding for concessions that support London’s care leavers, these organisations aim to help young people leaving care to overcome the barriers they face and have a smoother path to independence.

The Pan London Care Leavers Compact includes:

  • Free prescriptions.
  • Half price bus and tram travel.
  • London boroughs have worked together on housing support – most boroughs are offering or developing an offer that might include council tax exemption, priority housing status, rent deposit schemes, and joint working agreements between children’s services and housing teams.
  • Access to training and employment opportunities in healthcare.

Care leavers are young people who have previously been children in the care of their local authority. London is home to around 15,000 to 16,000 18-25 year old young people who have been in care. Children come into local authority care for a variety of reasons but will often have experienced significant trauma, the breakdown of family relationships and a range of challenges and disadvantages.

Care leavers across the capital are receiving information about the Pan London Care Leavers Compact from their Personal Advisor at their London borough, who will assist them to access the relevant concessions.

Care leavers in London who receive prescribed medication can save £9.65 per prescription item – as well as the financial saving, this makes it more affordable to access healthcare. Those who travel on buses or trams across London will see their journeys capped at £2.55 a day thanks to the new Care Leavers Concession – meaning they could save hundreds of pounds on travel every year. Average Band D council tax rates in London were around £2,000 for the year 2022-23.

Louise Foyle from the Pan London Children in Care Council said:

‘The Pan London offer presents a transformative opportunity for care leavers across London by advocating for consistent and persistent support services. By standardizing offers such as education, training, housing, health, and mentoring across all boroughs, care leavers gain equitable access to essential resources regardless of their geographic location.

“Moreover, by prioritizing access to a consistent quality of life, the Pan London offer empowers care leavers to thrive independently and pursue their aspirations with confidence, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment.

“By working together on the Pan London offer we create room for London to be the best place for care leavers to reside showing best practice and unity within our community.”

Cllr Ian Edwards, London Councils’ Executive member for Children and Young People, said:

“London’s care leavers have so much potential, but are often dealing with challenging circumstances that stop them from getting ahead. The Pan London Care Leavers Compact demonstrates the power of London stepping up and collaborating with a meaningful goal in mind – to level the playing field for this disadvantaged group of young people.

“It has been fantastic to see London boroughs working together to listen to care-experienced young people and develop better support for them. It has been equally great to see how supportive of this worthwhile mission local NHS ICBs, the Mayor and TfL have been. We hope that other organisations join us in the months ahead.”

Jacqui McShannon, Strategic Director Children's Services and ALDCS Strategic Lead for Care Leaving, Hammersmith and Fulham, said:

“London's Directors of Children's Services share the strong commitment to an enhanced and consistent offer to support all care experienced young people across London. We are proud to be part of the pan London partnership led by care experienced young people, and to be working so effectively with London Councils, the GLA,  voluntary, statutory, and business partners to deliver our joint ambition to improve the lives of all of London's cared for children and young people.”

Sharon Long, Strategic Director at Partnership for Young London, said:

“The launch of the Pan London Compact for Care Leavers is an exciting point of the journey we are all on to improve outcomes for London’s care experienced community. The Compact is a great example of cross-sector collaboration, creating an ambitious vision with care leavers, which maximises all of the amazing assets across London. This work is by its very nature ongoing and evolving. We know that there is a lot more we can all do to ensure that care experienced young Londoners are actively supported to achieve their ambitions and thrive.”

Caroline Clarke, Regional Director, NHS England – London, said:

“The NHS across London via our five integrated care boards has collaborated in prioritising the healthcare experienced by young people. By removing financial barriers to accessing essential medications, we are empowering young people to take control of their health and live fulfilling lives.

“It's our duty as healthcare providers to advocate for policies that promote inclusivity and address people’s unique needs, regardless of their background. Offering funded prescriptions is not just a gesture of support; it's a fundamental step towards ensuring equitable access to healthcare and is part of our ongoing commitment to care experienced by young people in London."

The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said:

“Leaving care can be extremely challenging and daunting for young adults who can feel unprepared for the transition to independent living. Many care leavers lack the resources needed to continue training or gain meaningful employment once they’ve left care, which can, in turn, lead to both financial and emotional hardship.

“That’s why the Mayor and I were pleased to recently announce that his new care leavers travel concession has opened for applications, meaning care leavers aged between 18 and 25 who live in London can apply for half-price bus and tram travel. This will give these young people a helping hand to thrive in this next stage of their lives as we continue to build a better, fairer London for everyone.”

Andy Lord, London’s Transport Commissioner, said:

“We remain keen to ensure that fares on public transport remain as affordable as possible, while ensuring that TfL can continue to run clean, green and safe services and support London’s continued economic recovery. Our wide range of concessions, as well as the Hopper fare, are a big part of our inclusive transport offer that seeks to ensure everyone can get around the city and enjoy all that it has to offer and I was delighted that we recently launched our new concession for care leavers aged 18-25 in London. This will directly support those Londoners leaving care and help them transition into independent living in the capital.”

The Pan London Care Leavers Compact has been developed by the London Innovation and Improvement Alliance (LIIA), a group funded by the Association of London Borough Directors of Children’s Services (ALDCS), and Partnership for Young London, who host the London Children in Care Council.

London boroughs will continue to work with care leavers, children’s social care professionals, Partnership for Young London and other youth organisations to find out what further support would be helpful to this group. This will guide the growth and development of the Pan London Care Leavers Compact in the coming months.

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