Do I have to leave care at 18?
No. Thanks to Staying Put arrangements you could now stay with your foster carers until you're 21 years of age, or 25 if you're in full-time higher education or have a disability.
What is Staying Put?
Staying Put supports young people leaving care to continue to live with their foster carer/s when they reach 18 years of age. This would be a decision for you and your foster carer.
From the age of 16 your social worker and independent reviewing officer will begin to discuss Staying Put with you to see if this is an option suitable for you.
Do I qualify for Staying Put?
Not everyone can be considered for a Staying Put arrangement. The government has decided that young people who were an ‘eligible child’ can continue to live with that carer after 18 years of age.
It doesn’t matter how long you've been living with your foster carer or whether your foster carer is from a local authority, family or friends, an independent fostering agency or if they receive a skill-based payment to meet your needs.
Staying Put arrangements can continue until you're 21 years of age or stop living in the household before that time. If you leave your Staying Put arrangement for any reason, you can return but this will impact the support provided. We have a duty to monitor and support all Staying Put arrangements, and this will include financial support.
How do I Stay Put?
Your social worker will discuss Staying Put with you and will include information in your Pathway Plan.
It's important that together we consider Staying Put arrangements as a possibility for your future to ensure you're prepared for the next stage of your life.