I wrote some time ago that the Government was considering allowing fostered children to stay in their foster placements until their 21st birthday, instead of having to fend for themselves at the age of 18.
I am pleased to be able to confirm that recently the Department of Education has allocated a first year of additional funding for ‘Staying Put’ provision to local authorities in England, with further information on the subsequent two years of funding expected to be announced in February 2015.
The total funding being set aside for local authorities amounts to £7.4million, and is being allocated to allow them to incur “expenditure lawfully incurred or to be incurred in respect of a young person aged 18 and their former foster carer to continue to live together in a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement”, as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.
Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “The allocation of this money will give local authorities the opportunity to put into place the plans that they have already developed and to offer the certainty to young people that they need.”
The funding allocated to local authorities is based on local councils reaching the levels of uptake that were achieved when similar arrangements were initially piloted. Our hope though, is that more young people choose to stay on – although that would make this current allocation of funds inadequate”.
Children’s minister in England, Edward Timpson MP, has suggested that, should there be a higher uptake, he is prepared to ask for further funds in the next spending review. He states however, that “it is the responsibility of local authorities to show that the money is not enough, and our concern is that if they do not bring in the changes that are needed, then that case will not be made.”
This fund will be well received for vulnerable young adults in Oxfordshire.
While foster carers are doing a fantastic job, this fund should allow them to continue their valued work to helping young people become young adults in our community.
It is also important for those needing help that they do approach the local authority.
More often than not they can provide vital support to a family with children struggling in the current economic climate.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
- Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here
Our top stories
- Managing director Greig Box Turnbull to leave Oxford United at end of season
- Companies still signing up for jobs fair at Oxford Town Hall
- Hundreds will gather as soldier killed in Iraq is repatriated
- Staff and students celebrate actress's big win at the Golden Globes
- Inquests opened into death of couple who died in cottage fire on Blenheim Palace estate
- Inquest opened into death of pensioner found in River Ock in Abingdon