We have launched an appeal to raise the funds we need to help ensure no fostered young person misses out on vital support and stability as they turn 18.
Can you support us today to help make the life-changing promise of Staying Put, Continuing Care, When I am Ready and GEMS a reality for thousands more young people?
Why is our campaign so important?
Five years ago, with the support of our members, The Fostering Network led a campaign to change the law in each of the countries of the UK to allow young people to stay with their foster carers up to the age of 21. The introduction of Staying Put in England, Continuing Care in Scotland, When I am Ready in Wales and GEMS in Northern Ireland was a huge achievement with the potential to be life-changing for generations of fostered young people.
Yet today, the promise of these schemes remains too often unfuliffled.
For example, in England almost half of looked after children are still leaving their foster families before or shortly after their 18th birthday, in many cases even when they want to stay. Many foster carers struggle to secure financial and practical support to make a Staying Put arrangement work. With no Staying Put allowance, 80 per cent are left out of pocket when a young person stays with them post 18.
We have also heard many cases where Staying Put was not supported or raised as an option early enough, sometimes with terrible consequences:
‘The young woman we were looking after missed out on Staying Put, even though we knew staying with us would have been the best option. She moved to a hostel where there was a lot of drug misuse and narrowly escaped harm from traffickers. Later, she ran into debt and ended up with nowhere to live, no job and no belongings.
‘It breaks my heart. She had so much ahead of her and things could have been so different.
‘I really hope you can give whatever you can to help stop this happening to any more of our young people.’
A gift from you can make change happen
We will not stop campaigning until Staying Put in England and the other schemes across the UK work properly for all young people who want to stay with their foster families. But to do this, we need your help.
A gift from you could help us:
- fight for the introduction of a post-18 allowance, so that all foster carers could afford to have a young person with them until the age of 21
support more fostering services, in every part of the UK, to ensure that post-18 schemes are working for every young person who needs it
Help us turn the potential of post-18 schemes like Staying Put into a reality for thousands more young people this year.