1000% increase in foster children staying on

family life

The number of children who remain with their foster families beyond their 18th birthdays has increased by no less than 1,000 per cent, the government has announced.

In excess of 2,300 children in care have chosen to stay on the since the introduction of the ‘staying put’ scheme in 2013. Incorporated into the Children and Families Act, it granted children living with foster families the right to stay with them until the age of 21 or even later, as long as the families themselves agree, and also provides funding for the youngsters to do so.

According to the government, 2,300 is approximately ten times the number who previously stayed on via private arrangements with their foster carers, and represents around one in four of all children in care.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson hailed the “spectacular success” of the scheme and said children who remained would have a better chance of success in life.

But the Local Government Association complained that the £44 million in additional funding allocated to the scheme had not been sufficient or covered the additional costs incurred by local authorities.

Deputy chairman David Simmonds said:

“Councils remain concerned that the cost to councils of keeping children with foster parents until they are 21 has been significantly underestimated by government.”

Mr Timpson promised to keep funding levels under review “to make sure that every young person who chooses, because it’s their choice, with the support of their foster carer, to remain living with them, gets that opportunity to do so. Because we know what a huge difference it can make to their prospects and future life.”

Photo by kamera kızı via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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