The children's leaving care act came into force in 2001, which placed new duties on councils. In response to these new duties the council in partnership with Action for Children (formerly NCH) developed a new unit to provide services to children leaving care called "The Extra Mile"
The support now offered to care leavers includes:
a personal advisor - who will offer support to care leavers through the transition to independence and adulthood;
a pathways plan - each young person's needs will be assessed and plans to meet those needs/aspirations will be set out in this plan;
keeping in touch - personal advisors now have a duty to keep in touch with young people until they reach the age of 21, or 24 if they are in education;
responsible authority - the new act states that the council who "last looked after" a young person remains responsible for supporting them until they are 21 (or 24 if in education);
new financial support - young people who have left care, and are not on a care order and are aged 16-17, are no longer eligible for benefits from the DSS. They will receive income maintenance from children's services.