Care Leaver Local Offer secures major statutory data collection change at the DfE

created by Terry Galloway published on 30 September 2021

PRESS RELEASE 30/09/2021


Local Authorities are required to submit data returns annually to the DfE covering children in care and care leavers.


The DfE have today published statutory guidance and given 6 months’ notice in a letter to every Director of Children’s Social Care of the changes which will effect the 2022-23 Reporting year and beyond.


It has long been argued that since the implementation of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 which extended support to care leavers to the age of 25 that local authorities should be reporting the activity of those 22-25 directly into the DfE which then publish the data.


Terry Galloway, who instigated these changes said “When we were creating the website it was quite apparent there was missing data. Although these councils have the data already, it was not in the public domain. There needs to be transparency”


“Local Authorities know their own children, they are doing a fantastic job, but if we are going to create systemic change in the care system, other organisations and government departments need the data so they can plan services that better meet the needs of our care leavers”


Although these changes do not go far enough because it does not include care leavers that the Local Authority is out of touch with, we have made huge progress in a relative short time.


Terry discussed the issues with the Care Review who supported him in making a case to the DfE to make the changes. Ultimately it was the decision of the DfE to take a business case to the Star Chamber scrutiny Board.


Terry also provided a letter he wrote with Dr Claire Baker outlining why they thought the changes needed to happen.


In the advance Notice letter sent by the DfE today (30/09/2021) You only need to provide information for 22- to 25-year-olds who have been in touch with you, we do not, for reporting purposes, expect you to contact all 22- to 25-year-old care leavers to obtain this information.”


The DfE on the back of a letter sent and co-signed by Terry and Dr Claire Baker outlining the case, then submitted a business case to the Chamber – it was sent back for review to make amends around the way the data would be collected because many councils are not in touch with their care leavers beyond 21. It was finally passed in September 2021 and announced today.


Both the Care Review and DfE took what we are saying on board and the DfE have worked hard to make it happen. Terry added “I’m impressed that the Care Review saw this as an important issue and for helping to make the case. I’m so happy how it all came together with the help of the DfE and the Care Review. I’ve been so excited about this change and have been busting to shout out about it, because I think it is going to make a real difference to care leavers”


“This announcement really does prove that we can work together and find a common ground for the benefit of our care leavers – We need Joint Working and everyone to take part, a whole council, whole government, whole community approach”


“The challenge now is to encourage all our care leavers to contact their local authorities because they do have a duty to support them to 25 and there is so much going on that they may not know about.




To download the letter and advance notice. These are in the resources section of this website. Go here

Star Chamber Scrutiny Board