Are you leaving care?

boys climbing a tree

Like other young people who have left their family homes, if you have been in care you need ongoing support to help you adjust to independent living.

Community Services is not only responsible for you while you're in care, but also for developing ‘leaving care’ or ‘after care’ plans.

If you have questions about leaving care, contact your caseworker or the FACS Careleaver’s Line on 1800 994 686 or email

Leaving care plans

It is likely that the court order which placed you in care had an expiry date, such as your 16th or 18th birthday.

When you turn 15, a case meeting will be held with you to develop a ‘leaving care plan’.

This plan will include ways in which you can be supported through after care services to deal with any issues that may arise when you leave care.

This is designed to reduce the stress involved in leaving care and learning to live independently.

Your Next Step - information for young people leaving care

Your next step – information for young people leaving care provides you with the contact details for range of services who may be able to help you when you are preparing to leave care for independent living or have left care.

Leaving care checklist

Could you survive if you moved out of home? Can you cook, budget or find a job?

Take our challenge and see what you can do now and what you need to learn more about.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t do everything on our checklist. It’s just a starting point to get you and your carer thinking about what you need to know for living independently.


YOU provides information for 15–25-year-olds who are, or have been, in out-of-home care. It encourages you to know your rights, plan for the future, and ask for support to help make informed decisions.

Records and information

When you leave, or after you have left care, you are allowed to access any personal information held by either Family and Community Services, your former foster carer or on your file.

These files include:

  • birth certificates
  • school reports
  • medical reports
  • personal photographs.

Sometimes information contained in a file might be considered distressing and  Family and Community Services might recommend special arrangements, such as a psychologist or counsellor’s presence while you access the file.

If you are over 25 and/or a former State Ward in NSW, it might be possible that records are still held about you.

For details on how to access your file and other information about you or your family, see are you a former ward?

Your personal possessions

On leaving your placement, you are allowed to keep any personal effects, clothing, equipment such as car seats, wheelchairs or furniture that may have been purchased specially for you while in care.

Related Links

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)