With many care-experienced young people either embarking on their university career or returning for another year, we asked one care-experienced student at Kingston University about how the university's specialist KU Cares programme has supported them.
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Accessing and understanding the benefits system can be difficult for foster carers and the young people they look after. Information from Jobcentre Plus does not always take into account their unique circumstances.
About post-18 living arrangements
Changes in the law across the UK have led to the development of arrangements known as Staying Put in England, When I am Ready in Wales and Continuing Care in Scotland (which is accessible from age 16). Northern Ireland has its own arrangement for caring for a young person aged 18-plus called Going the Extra Mile.
Why is our campaign so important?
Naomi Taylor, a creative for brand agency Mr President, came to our attention after being featured in Campaign – a magazine for the advertising and media industry.
The number of care experienced young people in England who are benefiting from a piece of flagship legislation designed to enable them to stay living with their foster carers until the age of 21 is woefully low and simply not good enough.
What’s the problem?
Young people are missing out on the chance to stay living with their foster families after they turn 18. Although there is now provision in the law for young people to stay until they are 21 across the UK, financial and cultural barriers mean this is not happening often enough.
According to our 2018 State of the Nation survey:
Until the beginning of this decade, the majority of fostered young people were required to leave their foster home as soon as they turned 18. This is far earlier than young people outside the care system, who on average leave home at 24, and too early for many fostered young people who often need more support and time as they transition into adulthood.
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- The Fostering Network was instrumental in convincing the committee of the need for this Inquiry.
- Written evidence was invited up to the 25 November and we encouraged our supporters and members to contribute.