To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support foster carers to assist their former fostered children when they leave care.
22 November 2018
In 2014, the government introduced ‘Staying put: arrangements for care leavers aged 18 years and above’ which allows care leavers to continue living with their former foster carer when they reach age 18: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-put-arrangements-for-care-leavers-aged-18-years-and-above. This means young people can continue to benefit from a stable and secure family setting, preparing for independence at a more gradual pace and moving into independent living when they are ready, rather than facing a cliff-edge on reaching age 18.
To support local authorities to implement Staying Put we have provided £68.35 million to date. Funding for 2019/20 will be £23.77 million, and funding beyond 2020 will be subject to future spending reviews.
The latest data show that for the year ending March 2018, 55% of those ceasing to be looked after in a foster placement on their 18th birthday stayed put with their former foster carer, which is an increase of 4% on the previous year. Furthermore, 31% of 19 year-olds were still with former foster carers on their 19th birthday, and 26% of 20 year-olds still with former foster carers on their 20th birthday. Again, these were both increases on the previous year.