Comment on The Children's Society 'Cost of Being Care-Free' report

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Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘The Fostering Network has, for many years, been concerned that young people who are leaving care are not sufficiently prepared for independence. Therefore, we welcome The Children’s Society report, The Cost of Being Care-Free, and particularly the call for financial better education for young people in care.

‘We believe that increasing the numbers of young people who stay living with their foster carers in post-18 placements (such as Staying Put, When I Am Ready and Continuing Care), will enable more young people to become financially literate before leaving the care system. Staying Put will mean that young people can leave care at 21 instead of 18, allowing them to have more time for both formal and informal financial education, and giving them a greater experience of financial independence with the ongoing support of their foster carer.

‘We would urge the governments of the UK to invest sufficiently in their post-18 schemes and to monitor the schemes to ensure a consistency of implementation. As this report from The Children’s Society shows, an investment in our care-experienced young people is good for the young people themselves and will reduce the need for expensive interventions later in life.’