The Care Leavers Association welcomes the announcement from the Department of Education in relation to the amendment to the Children and Families Bill, that will enable Care Leavers to stay with their foster families until they are 21. Stability and consistency is key to educational success, and this change gives young people the time and support to concentrate on achieving educationally, instead of having to deal with the issues and worries of independent living at the age of 18. The average age of a young adult not in the care system leaving their family home is around 27. Policy changes like this can and will make real positive and beneficial changes to young people in care and leaving care. As Looked After Children and Care Leavers have to deal with many other issues surrounding their care experience, this extra time in a stable family environment could be the turning factor in the success of a young person, in all levels of life.
This opportunity should also be made available for those in residential care. We hope the government will now begin the process of exploring how this could be made to work in residential settings.