Young People's Zone

What is a retrospective complaint?

Lots of 16 and 17 year olds do not have parents or other family to look after them properly and need support from Children’s Services (for example, they need Children’s Services to provide them with somewhere safe to live). Some young people did not get the help they should have received at 16 and 17 years old when they went to Children’s Services or the Housing Department to ask for help.

If you are aged over 18 and you feel that you should have been taken into care when you were younger because you were unsafe at home or did not have family to look after you, you may have the right to ask for what is called ‘retrospective care status’.

Retrospective care status means that it will be recognised that you should have been taken into care when you were 16 or 17. You will be treated like a care leaver and have the rights and entitlements that care leavers have. You can visit our ‘Are you a care leaver?’ page to find out more about what support care leavers are entitled to.

It can be complicated to ask for ‘retrospective care status’ and you might need help from a solicitor. You may want support to know what you are entitled to and what you can do. You can find a solicitor by visiting the Law Society's website here. You can also talk to an advocate about this by calling the Coram Voice helpline FREE on 0808 800 5792 or email Our helpline is open every weekday from 9.30 am – 6.00 pm.

If you would like to make a retrospective complaint, please click here to write a Stage 1 complaint.