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Civil Service
Care Leavers Internship

The Scheme

The Civil Service Care Leavers Internship Scheme is a flagship scheme which gives care leavers the chance to benefit from a 12-month paid internship in a central Government department/agency, with the possibility of the post being made permanent at the end of the 12 months.

The latest data shows 38% of care leavers aged 19-21 were NEET, compared to 11% of their peers in the general population. To help to address this the Internship scheme provides participants with the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills and has been the launch pad for a successful career in the Civil Service for many care leavers. 

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Illustration of two people standing beside a large piece of paper that has a list of CVs on it

“3,500 jobs each year for care leavers”

In the recently published independent review of the children’s social care system, Josh McAlister set a ‘Mission’ to create 3,500 jobs each year for care leavers, by 2026. The Civil Service internship scheme – which Josh references in his report as an example of good practice –will play an important role in helping government to achieve this Mission and will continue to support the government’s commitment to social mobility. To date over 880 care leavers have been offered roles in over 26 government departments with around 80% being converted to permanency.

Benefits for the Young Person on the scheme:

  • An opportunity to develop work-based skills, increase professional confidence, test abilities, and make progress.
  • A launch-pad for a successful working life and career going forward.
  • An opportunity to accumulate evidence of skills, competences, and take advantage of opportunities available.
  • Opportunity for young people to gain independence.
  • Offers financial stability.
  • Develop friendships with others in the same position as they are.
  • Improve self-worth and confidence in general.
  • Help to reach potential.

The scheme is open to young people who are:

• entitled to a leaving care package
• aged 18-30
• satisfy the Civil Service nationality requirements.

There is no requirement for qualifications, but applications are assessed on criteria set out in the advert.

The scheme is operated at certain points throughout the year and we plan on the next application window opening May 2024.

Care leavers will be able to apply directly through Civil Service Jobs and there will be an opportunity to join information sessions to support applicants before the application opens.

Check for updates on GOV.UK

For more information on this amazing opportunity for care leavers please contact or follow us on Twitter @Dfecareers

“I recently joined DCMS as a Policy Advisor Intern in the Digital and Tech Policy Directorate. It’s been about a month and I can confidently say that I am overjoyed with my role – the work has been stimulating and interesting, and every day looks different as the civil service is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. The element of multitasking has been something to adjust to, however, I find the healthy amount of pressure to be useful to help me push myself and achieve daily goals. As it’s still early in my first policy role, I am focused on listening carefully to my colleagues – who make up a wonderfully supportive team!”

“Only 7 months into my internship I was given the role of coaching and mentoring new starters from the private sector. I also was nominated to meet with Minister for Children and Families, Will Quince. This is a great opportunity for care leavers to start work and leads to many open doors.”

Applying for a job

Applying to the Civil Service is more open and fair than it has ever been.

We’ll assess your experience, as well as your strengths, and will give you the best opportunity to showcase these in application forms, interviews, and assessments.


The Civil Service provides many benefits for you and your family.

Things like health, well-being and discount schemes, the Civil Service Pension Scheme and reward and recognition schemes.


To help you during the recruitment process, we will take into account any adjustments that could help you.

Things like changing the time, location or format of interviews or providing interview questions in advance.