More support for foster children to stay put after aged 18

Sheffield foster carers will be given more support to look after young people once they turn 18.

Monday, 11th February 2019, 12:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 03:11 am
Sheffield Town Hall

The Government wants councils to help young people have a more gradual transition from fostering to living independently and as part of this, Sheffield Council has a policy called Staying Put.

Young people will be given support to remain living with foster carers beyond their 18th birthday while the carers will receive financial help.

It’s not the same as a foster placement and they are no longer classed as a “looked after child” but the families will get help to stay together.

Paul Dempsey, assistant director of provider services at Sheffield Council, says in a report: “Providing a package of financial support to the Staying Put carer that is equal to the sum they received as a foster carer for the young person will remove any financial barriers.

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“This enables young people leaving care to have more favourable outcomes in later life, to be employed, and less likely to be at risk of substance abuse and mental health issues.

“The policy offers the chance to better prepare young people for independent living in the community and cementing relationships with carers that are hoped to last beyond the time living together.

“Research found that those in Staying Put arrangements were significantly more likely to be in full time education at 19 than their counterparts. A higher proportion of young people were also pursuing higher education than those who did not.”

Sheffield Council’s cabinet will discuss the issue at a meeting on Wednesday.