New care service for young people wanting to ‘stay put’
The transition to adulthood is difficult for anyone but for young people who have been in care for most of their childhood it is even harder.
Until changes were made to the regulations earlier this year, this was compounded by an expectation that these young adults would move on and leave the household they had made home as soon as they reached the age of 18.
This sudden homelessness was thrust upon some of the most vulnerable members of society at a time when they were already facing the huge pressures of transition – when they are having to make key life defining decisions over education, training and work.
We already know there is a gap between the attainment levels of looked-after children and their peers – it is something we work hard to prevent but is none-the-less still a reality. So, when we are all striving to deliver positive outcomes, adding extra trauma to their lives at this critical transitional stage is deeply unhelpful.
The revision of the guidance and the provision of funding to allow young adults to ‘stay put’ has, therefore, been great news and stands to benefit the individuals involve and society in general.
As a result foster carers can now receive the financial support necessary to allow young people to remain at their home until the age of 21. This is achieved by their dual approval as foster carers and shared lives carers. The change also allows the agency which has supported foster carers throughout their placement to continue offering that service within the shared lives scheme.
At Perpetual Care Group, our Choices’ team has developed a Shared Living scheme, which is now available to any vulnerable person over the age of 18 who is deemed eligible for social care services. This includes those young people making the transition to adulthood under a ‘staying put’ agreement.
The new scheme
The scheme will ensure the promotion of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being continues for our young adults. Individuals will be given the opportunity to be involved in the planning of their own care, and the support provided will take into consideration their needs, choices and preferences.
Foster carers will also continue to receive the provision of services and access to skill professionals, as well as the financial support, which will help them to carry on providing the same level of care.
With the agenda for health and social care agencies now emphasising the need to move from a ‘where one size fits all’ to provide a person centred approach, the development of the Shared Living scheme is offering just that. It is enabling young adults and their carers to make individual choices about their own care.
To find out more about staying put and the Shared Living scheme please contact our Choices’ team via the Perpetual Fostering website or by telephone by calling 0845 1304748.