This month, we attended the All Party parliamentary group – a meeting for young people in care and care leavers, who attend on behalf of different authorities, to discuss a particular issue on a national level.
This meeting was about “Staying put”
Issues/Topics raised at the meeting were:
- Staying put was a positive choice for young people
- A popular choice so far for young people
- Should it be up to 25? Or should it have a limit?
- Difficulties engaging foster agencies in the staying put process
- Better support needed for foster carers
- Staying put should be after the age of 21
- Barriers- there is not the same amount of pay for carers- it should be the same
- The government should pay for young people staying put in residential care
- Discriminatory between residential care and foster care- young people in residential care don’t have the option of staying put
- Financial differences in authorities across the UK.
- More foster carers needed, as young people take up spaces, when staying put
- Strong attachments and relationships should continue after 25
- Different local authorities do different things for care leavers, such as other provision and other placements
- Department of pensions need to train workers better to deal with young people in care- not all young people live at home and have parents- mainly aimed an job centre plus
- More honest conversations need to happen with carers about less money if a young person stays put
- Why isn’t staying put offered for all young people?
– There seems to be a lack of information shared between social workers, young people and foster carers.
Young people’s feedback about the meeting:
Chloe – It was interesting, some good points raised and it was good to see young people at this meeting. However, the meeting got boring, not all points are heard or responded too and some professional spoke more than young people.
Mel – I was pleased, I asked my question “what support is available for those who left care before staying put came into place? And it was answered. I feel there needs to be more young people focused, it’s about us, let us more questions, not the professionals.