More money for Staying Put
Yesterday, the Department for Education announced a further £50 million for councils to support care leavers. The majority of this funding, £33 million, is for further investment in Staying Put, the scheme which allows care experienced young people in England to remain living with their former foster carers after they turn 18. This is a 40 per cent increase on the funding allocated in 2019/20 and is based on the increased number of young people opting to stay put.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘Staying Put has the potential to change the lives of young people leaving care in England for the better, supporting them to remain with their former foster carers and thus benefiting from the continued relationships, stability and support they need when turning 18.
‘Our work with foster families, young people and fostering services across England has identified a number of issues which were preventing young people from remaining with their foster family. One of the major issues was funding.
‘We are therefore very pleased that the Government has listened to our calls and is providing significant additional funding for Staying Put in 2021/22. We hope that by enabling more young people to stay put this funding will also help create a culture where it is the norm for young people to remain living with their foster family, in the way that most young people remain with their families over 18.
‘While this additional funding is very welcome, we continue to call on the Government to monitor the implementation of Staying Put and to ensure that policies and training are in place to enable planned and supported transitions for young people.’