There is a significant shortfall in funding for a new duty on councils to provide a personal advisor for care leavers up to the age of 25, according to the Local Government Association.
Under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 councils, from 1 April, must extend the availability of advisors providing advice and support having previously been required to offer the service until a care leaver is 21.
But the LGA has warned the £12m provided by the government for the additional responsibility will only cover the costs for 20% of care leavers.
It also said no extra funding has been provided for councils to provide additional follow-up support, such as short-term financial assistance and housing support for care leavers up to the age of 25.
The LGA estimates current government funding must be “at least doubled” to cover council responsibilities or provision will have to be cut elsewhere, with further pressure placed on children’s services facing a funding gap of £2bn by 2020.
Chair of the LGA’s children and young people board Richard Watts (Lab) said: “While not every care leaver will need the support, we expect the number to be much higher than what the government has anticipated.
“It is essential that this is funded properly by government if we are to help improve young people’s lives and give them the best start in adulthood.”