Fostering and Adoption Charity TACT (The Adolescent and Children’s Trust) welcomes today’s launch of new good practice guidance on ‘Staying Put’ – a scheme which enables young people to continue living with their foster carer until the age of 21.
The new duty on local authorities to support and monitor staying put arrangements was introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014, after a concerted campaign by children’s social care charities including TACT. Local authorities now have a duty to support such arrangements, including providing social work support and financial support to the carer.
TACT Interim CEO David Bradley said;
‘Many young people leaving care are particularly vulnerable as a consequence of the abuse or trauma that led to them coming into care. The consequences of this are clear in the outcomes for care leavers. It is well evidenced that care leavers are more likely to be NEET, to become young parents, to experience homeless and mental health problems, and to have contact with the criminal justice system.
Staying Put offers young people a much smoother and more natural transition to adulthood and independence. It offers the kind of support and safety net that any reasonable parent would provide for their children.
This guide provides welcome advice and guidance to local authorities and independent fostering agencies on how to ensure that staying put is implemented effectively. We particularly welcome the inclusion of the principle that entering into a staying put arrangement should be the norm, not the exception, and no young person should miss the opportunity to participate in staying put because the carer cannot afford to do so.
We also welcome the recognition of the important role independent agencies like TACT have to play in the implementation of Staying Put, and look forward to working constructively with local authorities to ensure that every young person who wants to ‘stay put’ is able to do so, and that every carer is fully supported in their important role helping young people navigate the transition to adulthood and independence.’
Diana, young person in a TACT staying put arrangement, said;
‘I am now part of the Staying Put agenda and that has enabled me to stay put with my foster carers that I was living with before I was eighteen. This has helped me to stay on at college and to continue to reach my goals. My carers are really supportive of what I want to do. Being able to stay put has meant pretty much everything to me. If I had gone independent at eighteen I wouldn’t have lasted and would have had to go back to my parents which wouldn’t have worked out. I wouldn’t have progressed as a person and I would have had different prospects.’
Notes to Editors
TACT is the UK’s largest charity and voluntary agency providing fostering and adoption services. For more information, please contact 020 8695 8142.
Production of the guide has been led by The Children’s Partnership, the voluntary and community sector strategic partner to the Department for Education led by the National Children’s Bureau and 4Children, working with the support of the Fostering Network. A full list of organisations involved in developing the guidance, including TACT, can be found in the guidance.
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