Keep on caring: supporting young people from care to independence

england

 

 

Keep on Caring outlines the strategic plan proposed by government in 2016 to support care leavers as they transition into adulthood. The strategy emphasises the role of government as corporate parents responsible for ensuring positive outcomes for young people. This strategic plan focuses on 5 key outcomes:

1. All young people leaving care should be better prepared and supported to live independently.
2. Improved access to education, employment and training.
3. Care leavers should experience stability in their lives, and feel safe and secure.
4. Improved access to health support.
5. Care leavers should achieve financial stability.

This policy strategy builds on several pieces of legislation, including the Leaving Care Act (2000), the Children and Young Persons Act (2008), the 2013 cross-government care leaver strategy, and the 2014 Children and Families Act, all of which gradually expanded the responsibilities of local authorities in supporting children and young people in care. These Acts resulted in the introduction of Staying Put, which allows young people to remain with their foster carers until 21.

 

 

Reference:  HM Government. (2016). Keep on caring: supporting young people from care to independence. London. DfE

 

commentary

 

This (2016) strategy looks at how to improve services, support, and advice for care leavers. It makes recommendations for local and national government, and wider sectors of society.

A significant concern is the lack of detail in describing pathway planning for asylum-seeking young people. Though the HM Government’s strategy mentions the significance of an increase in unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to the changing cohort demographics, it provides few steps to better serve UASCs as adults in the UK. The document focuses on supporting the local authorities responsible for unaccompanied minors entering the country. It names the national transfer scheme to distribute UASCs throughout the country and proposes increased funding to local authorities receiving large proportions of unaccompanied young people. The proposed solutions would lessen the burden on local authorities considerably. The strategy also suggests that local authorities provide guidance to UASCs so they can better prepare for their futures in the UK or in their country of origin, and relies on the 2016 Immigration Act to provide social care to those awaiting departure.

 

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Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.

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