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Extend Staying Put rights to children's homes, say MPs

Staying Put legislation should be extended into children’s homes as part of sweeping changes needed to improve post-16 support for looked-after young people, MPs have said.

The education select committee has concluded that allowing looked-after children the right to remain in their care placement until the age of 21 is "inequitable" as it only applies to those in foster care not children’s homes. Giving young people in foster care the option of staying put was a key plank of the reforms introduced under the Children and Families Act.In its report, Into independence, not out of care: 16 plus care options, the committee calls on the government to ensure "Staying Put" rights apply to all children’s care settings.

The report says: “Young people living in residential children’s homes are often the most vulnerable and should have the right to remain there beyond the age of 18.”The government is also being called on to look at promoting "staying close" models of care, whereby those leaving children’s homes are offered independent accommodation close to their former care home to ensure they retain access to professional support and friends.Natasha Finlayson, chief executive of the Who Cares? Trust, one of the charities that gave evidence to the committee, backed the MPs' findings. She said: “Changing the law so that young people can stay with their foster carers to 21 was a hugely significant and welcome reform, but we must extend this to all children in care to make sure those in children’s homes have the opportunity to benefit from the increased stability and security this can offer them.”

Full Story courtesy of CYP

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