Government funding will support young people to remain with foster carers after turning 18 until their 21st birthday
Government funding of £22m will enable young people to remain in their foster placements until they are 21 years old.
The ‘Staying Put’ duty was introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014 and placed a requirement on local authorities to support young people to stay with foster carers once they turn 18.
“Local authorities can spend this grant to support the costs associated with maintaining a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement,” said Ann Gross, director of special needs and children in care.
In a letter to local authorities in England, Ms Gross said the purpose of the grant was to cover expenditure incurred as a result of a young person staying with a foster carer until they are 21 years old.
The amount for 2016-2017 is £22.2m and the Department for Education will announce the next settlement in February 2017.
The Secretary of State determines the authorities to which grant is to be paid and the amount of grant to be paid.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson recently revealed figures released in parliament that showed that there were 3,230 young people in a foster placement on their 18th birthday during the year ending 31 March 2015. Of these, a total of 1,560 remained with their former foster carers three months after their 18th birthday – representing 48.3 per cent of the total.
However he revealed that there were five councils - Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Leicester, Tower Hamlets, and Wandsworth, where no young people were reported to have stayed with their foster carer three months after turning 18.