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New scheme offers continuity for care leavers
The proposed scheme “When I Am Ready” will offer eligible children the opportunity to stay with their foster carers beyond the age of 18. This recognises that not all young adults are ready to move to living on their own, especially if they are vulnerable or have complex health, learning or other needs.
Many young people in care find much-needed stability and a long term bond with their foster parents and leaving this environment can be an anxious time. This new scheme would offer greater choice and control over the continuity of care for care leavers.
This scheme would also allow young people to complete their education or training without surrendering the support network that they are used to.
Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, said
“This is great news for young people in foster care. Many of these young people have already had disrupted lives and they may lack the stable support network needed to move on to independent living, yet this can happen when they are much younger than their peers.
“Councils will need to be creative and innovative in implementing the scheme in their areas and reflect this in their commission of placements for 18 to 21-year-old care leavers.
“This scheme is about offering young people choice and control over their placement and giving them support when they decide they are ready to move on.
“I’d like to thank Ken Skates AM for addressing this very important issue and for the work he has done consulting organisations and young people on what they would want from this scheme."