Staying Put arrangements
Staying Put Arrangements
Under the "Staying Put" regulations the Salford leaving care team (Next Step) have produced this document outlining the support for those young people who want to remain with their foster carer's post 18.
What is "Staying Put"
The Staying Put arrangement is aimed at young people who have established strong attachment to their foster carers, offering them the opportunity to remaining with their carers post 18 until they reach the age of 21.
The scheme offers an extension to the financial and support package we currently provide through foster care. This package is offered to young people aged eighteen plus to help them in their transition to adulthood.
According to a study commissioned by the Department of Education, Staying Put provides the stability and support necessary for young people to achieve in education, training and employment.
When young people reach their 18th birthday they are not routinely "forced" to move from home.Usually, they are not practically or emotionally ready to live independantly from their families; they usually require additional time to plan and prepare for this move. Fostered young people are no different, so continuing care ensures they recieve the continued support they need.
"Staying put means that young people are not penalised by virtue of their care status".
To access the DFE evaluation of the Staying Put report 2012, go to www.gov.uk and search "Staying Put".
(Department for Education report 2012)
Benefits of the Scheme
To remain in the familiar and stable environment.
Staying Put gives young people greater control of the transition to independance and are given opportunaties and experiances more in-line with other people their age.
Continued support around developing independence skills that is able to link directly into the young person's pathway plan.
Enhanced support for young people making applications for jobs, educational courses, benefits or other applied for activities.
What support is provided
Staying Put allowance.
Continued support provided by Pathway/Aftercare worker.
Participation within the pathway planning process.
Continued access to support provided by the Salford leaving care team until the young person reaches 21 years or leaves the placement.
Weekday telephone support through the Salford leaving care team (Monday to Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm) and emergency duty team between 4.30pm and 8.30am (Saturday - Sunday and during weekends and bank holidays).
Continued support from the family placement team.
An annual staying put review.
Two training/support groups per year organised jointly by Next Step and family placement.
LA fee structure
£192 per week (June 2014)
It should be noted that for benefit and tax purposes these payments will not be treated as fostering allowances once the young person turns 18 and advice should be sought from the welfare rights service about the impact on the carer's own financial situation.
Staying Put - How it works
Step One - Salford leaving care team is keen to make the Staying Put process as simple as possible for eveyone involvedand we are taking a proactive role in the process enabling smooth transition for young people and their carers.
Consideration of whether the young person will remain with their foster carer beyond age 18 should occur at the earliest opportunity and certainly at the first statutory review after the young person's 16th birthday, and will form part of permanency planning for the child or young person.
Step Two - Where it is planned that the young person will remain with the foster carer beyond age 18 final arrangements should be made in a statutory review at least 3-6 months before the young person's 18th birthday and the young person's pathway plan should be agreed by all parties.
This allows plenty of time for discussion between the young person, their carers and pathway advisor/aftercare worker so this plan can be finalised and fully incorporated into their pathway plan.
Step Three - Following the statutory review, the social worker will complete a short report detailing the young person;s situation, the reason that a Staying Put allowance is needed and the length of time it is envisaged it will be necessary.
The report should clearly state the time period for which the allowance is needed. In most cases this will be for a time limited period only until alternative accommodation has been identified or the young person reaches 21 years.
The report should be forwarded to the service manager. Next Step so that the request can be noted and any comments made.
Authorisation of Staying Put allowances is given by the service manager. Next Step and financial arrangements are made with the local authority finance team.
Where no Staying Put allowances has been agreed, all payments to the foster carer will cease automatically on the young person's 18th birthday. It is therefore of the utmost importance that social workers ensure that the appropriate plans are in place before this occurs.
For further information about the Staying Put scheme please contact Salford leaving care team (Next Step) on 0161 607 1888.