The legislation is intended to stop children from ending up on the streets and turning to crime. It will oblige councils to produce a 'route map' for every child in care on their 16th birthday, covering their housing, education and training.
The Care Leavers Bill will be introduced by Alan Milburn, the health secretary, whose decision to act is the result of a review by Sir William Utting, the former head of the government's Social Services Inspectorate.
Under the proposals, local authorities will have to provide continuing support for the 15,000 children who leave care every year, each of whom will have a personal adviser.
The two measures will form part of a 'tough and tender' welfare theme, a key part of the heavy programme for what is likely to be the last full parliamentary year before the next general election.