Publication of Northern Ireland Care Leavers 2018/19

Date published: 14 January 2020

The Department of Health today published a statistical bulletin summarising information on care leavers aged 16-18 in Northern Ireland and care leavers whose 19th birthday occurred during the year ending 31 March 2019.

Care Leavers Statistic Image

Care Leavers Aged 16–18

  • Just under two thirds (63%) of care leavers aged 16-18 had GCSEs or other qualifications. The proportion of care leavers who had 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or higher at the time of leaving care was 20%.
  • Care leavers continue to have a higher proportion of young people with disability (12%) than the general population (6%). In terms of education, higher proportions of care leavers had a Statement of Educational Need (21%) compared with the general school population (5%).
  • Of care leavers aged 16-18 for whom information was available, 71% were in education, training or employment and 29% were unemployed or economically inactive.

Care Leavers Aged 19

  • Some 94% of care leavers aged 19 were in contact with Health and Social Care Trusts; with 65% in contact at least once a month.
  • Of the care leavers for whom information was available, 63% were in education, training or employment; a lower proportion than in 2017/18 (65%) however similar to that of 19 year old care leavers in England (62%).
  • In terms of becoming a parent, 13% of all care leavers aged 19 were parents, with 21% of female care leavers aged 19 becoming mothers on or before their 19th birthday.

Notes to editors: 

1. All publications are available online.

2. About the data:

The source of the data contained in this release is the Departmental OC1 and OC3 statistical returns, collected from HSC Trusts on an annual basis.

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

Further information is available from:

Community Information Branch 
Department of Health
Room 11, Annexe 2
Castle Buildings

Tel:      (028) 90 522580


4. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office on 02890520579 or email . For our of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110. 

5. Follow us on @healthdpt


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