The National Assembly for Wales has agreed to change the law to stop children being forced out of foster care on their 18th birthday, following a successful campaign by charities Action for Children-Gweithredu dros Blant and the Fostering Network Wales.
The Chance to Stay - Cyfle I Aros campaign called for assembly members to use the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill to give young people the right to stay with their foster carers until they are at least 21 years old.
During a session in the Senedd, on Tuesday 18 March, assembly members from all parties voted to include an amend to the Bill from Lindsay Whittle AM, meaning that all Welsh local authorities will be required by law to let children continue to live with their foster parents beyond the age of 18.
Brigitte Gater, interim director of children’s services at Action for Children-Gweithredu dros Blant, said: “We are pleased that assembly members have recognised the urgent need to prevent young people being forced out of the care system into an isolated and dangerous independent life.
“The strong cross-party agreement for this change is testament to the courage of our young campaigners. These young people helped gather support by sharing their experiences of leaving care – sometimes as young as 16 – and explaining how they needed more time with supportive foster carers to develop into adulthood.
“We are looking forward to working with the Welsh Government to ensure this law makes a real difference to the lives of young people in Wales.”
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