A campaign by charities in the UK has emphasized the importance of a coordinated response for vulnerable young people aged 16–17. Support for children in need stops at 18, but very few vulnerable teenagers are referred to adult services. According to the main children’s charities in the UK, ‘their health, safety and future is at risk due to the gap between child and adult services’. The Children’s Society is launching a new campaign, ‘Transitions to Adulthood’, to promote the development of a coordinated response for vulnerable children in their late teens who are not taken into care from social services.
Nick Roseveare, the chief executive of the Children’s Society, expressed the concern that young people lack support when they turn 18 , and that these young people continue to face issues like mental health, criminal and sexual exploitation, poverty and homelessness.
Additionally, the children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, warned that ‘older teens tend to fall through the gaps in services and become invisible because they were not being treated as children, nor as adults in need'.
The Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities acknowledged the campaign’s concerns and stated that the government is taking action to help vulnerable young people facing a challenging transition, including access to mental healthcare for 70,000 more children