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Staying Put: Arrangements for Care Leavers aged 18 and above to stay on with their former foster carers

The Care Matters White Paper contained a significant focus on improving the support for children preparing for adulthood including a pilot programme enabling young people to remain with their foster carers beyond the age of eighteen. To meet the commitments in the White Paper and the new duties towards care leavers in the Children and Young Persons Act 2008, new guidance and regulations relating to care leavers emphasise a more graduated approach to planning transition to adulthood. The average age of leaving home is rising and the transition to adulthood is increasingly becoming more complex and elongated. The “Staying Put” initiative and participating authorities have been working to pilot ways to extend children/young people’s transition to adulthood within a family and household supported environment. The intention being to ensure young people can remain with their former foster carers until they are prepared for adulthood, can experience a transition akin to their peers, avoid social exclusion and be more likely to avert a subsequent housing and tenancy breakdown.