Definitions of a Care Leaver and Care Experienced Student

Definition of a Care Leaver

The legal definition of a care leaver comes from The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 which states that a Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more spanning their 16th birthday. If you are under the age of 25 and this definition applies to you, then you should be receiving support from your local authority's Leaving Care Team to come to university.

Definition of a Care Experienced Student

Anyone who, at any stage in their life, for any length of time (no matter for how short a time period):

  • Has been in care; or
  • Is currently in care; or
  • Is from a looked-after background, including adopted children who were previously looked-after. This could be looked after in the UK or Overseas.

Writtle University College (WUC) recognises that young people who have spent any time in care face many and significant barriers to entering and succeeding in higher education. As such WUC has decided to adopt the less restrictive definition of care experienced over care leavers, which does not exclude individuals based on the length of time in care, type of placement or age, to ensure all individuals with care experience receive appropriate and additional support.