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Care leavers to receive £1600 per month in pilot scheme

Care leavers in Wales are set to receive £1600 per month to assess the impact on their lives under a pilot scheme announced by the Welsh government.

Under the scheme, more than 500 young people leaving care across all local authorities will be offered the opportunity to participate in the scheme to assess whether the payment will affect issues such as poverty, unemployment and improving health and financial wellbeing.

All young people leaving care who turn 18 during a 12-month period will be able to access the scheme which will provide each member of the cohort receiving a basic income payment of £1600 per month for a duration of 24 months from the month after their 18th birthday.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “Our Basic Income announcement today complements the Welsh Government’s ambition to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are supported. We know we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis and we’re determined to continually look at how best to support individuals in Wales who live in poverty.

“Care leavers have a right to be properly supported as they develop into independent young adults. It’s also important to note that this policy is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), emphasising our commitment to strengthening the rights of children and young people in Wales.

“Yet, too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers to achieving a successful transition into adulthood. Our Basic Income pilot is an exciting project to deliver financial stability for a generation of young people that need it most,” she added.

Care leavers were involved in the development of the pilot along with professionals in local authorities. A Technical Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot, has been established bringing together experts in basic income and support for care leavers to inform the development and evaluation of the pilot.

The minister added: “The pilot is specifically being designed to enable participants to receive more than just a basic transfer of cash; support will also be offered that is designed to build up their confidence to negotiate the world outside of care.

“This extra support will include, for instance, financial well-being training and signposting to all available support provided by Welsh Government and other partner organisations,” she concluded.

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