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£ 50million for advice to support people leaving care

A £ 51million funding increase to help thousands of vulnerable young people in the care system and proposals to improve the quality of their housing were announced today (Monday) by the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

The support package unveiled by the government will fund a series of programs designed to support those who are either placed or leave care, as well as proposals to introduce national standards as accommodation facilities for 16 and 17 year olds. should respect.

These programs include:

  • Continued investment of £ 33 million in ‘Staying in Place’, which helps children in care stay with their foster family after their 18th birthday if they choose;
  • £ 3.6million to extend the ‘Staying Close’ pilot project, which provides additional support to young people leaving care facilities, and £ 12million to ensure that the councils continue to provide personal counselors to support them. leaving care up to the age of 25; and
  • £ 2.7million to provide intensive support to high-risk homeless care leavers, as part of the government’s irregular sleep strategy.

A consultation that was also launched today is a consultation proposing national standards that all unregulated facilities for 16 and 17-year-olds in and out of care should adhere to, to improve quality and ensure consistency of service. ‘offer across the country.

It is based on government confirmation that from September placing children under 16 in unregulated housing will become illegal.

These steps come before ministers from across government meet today for the third meeting of the Care Leaver Covenant Board, to discuss actions to help those leaving care find and maintain adequate housing. The Intergovernmental Council, made up of members of the Departments of Work and Pensions, Health, Housing and Justice, recently proposed exemptions from the shared accommodation rate for those leaving care, which means that from From June, people leaving care up to the age of 25 will receive more financial support to help them access adequate housing.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Every young person in care deserves to live in housing that meets their needs and ensures their safety – anything less is unacceptable, and therefore it is absolutely vital to continue to prioritize children in care or to leave care. charge.

The measures announced today build on our shared ambition across government to improve outcomes and opportunities for everyone, but especially the most vulnerable – by providing safer homes, reducing isolation young people leaving care and ensuring that they have a strong support network. to lean on when entering adulthood.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, co-chair of the Covenant Board, said:

The £ 50million for care leavers we are announcing today will ensure vulnerable young people have the support and security they need, which is fundamental to their future. As we move forward across the country, this government will do everything in its power to ensure that no young person is left behind and that everyone has the opportunity to be the author of their own story.

The Department of Education is also set to provide more than 5,000 additional laptops to those leaving care as part of the Get Help with Technology program, which will help prevent loneliness and isolation among this group of people. youth. Laptops and routers will make it easier for them to stay in touch with their personal advisors and wider support networks, while helping them access support services such as education, mental health support and counseling. online job search.

The consultation on national standards, which will run for eight weeks until July 19, will examine the perspectives of children in care, those discharged from care, counsel and industry experts and leaders to raise the bar. so-called unregulated services. These are independent or semi-independent establishments offering supported accommodation that are not inspected by Ofsted.

The proposals aim to ensure that the offer is of high quality, by providing support and accommodation for older children in or leaving care who are ready to develop their independence in order to prepare for adulthood. The consultation will seek to know how Ofsted should regulate the quality of this support and accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds and intervene if necessary.

Along with the ongoing Independent Review of Child Welfare, announced in January and chaired by Josh MacAlister, today’s additional funding and continued support for people leaving care will help improve outcomes for children. some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society.

Since its launch last year, the Care Leaver Covenant Board has worked to improve the opportunities that care leavers have access to as they achieve independence and adulthood.

This includes encouraging companies to improve targeted employment opportunities and working with the councils to reiterate flexibilities regarding housing tax exemptions for those who have left care. The Pact will also enable businesses and organizations to tell people leaving care to help them strengthen their life skills and autonomy, while gaining work experience through the Kickstart program. This intergovernmental work will continue in the months to come.

The Covenant Care Leaver works with businesses across the country to improve opportunities and outcomes for care leavers. A diverse group of companies including Engie, Compass Group, Lendlease, Remploy, the Association of Local Governments signed the Pact and pledged to support the leavers. Many signatories are also promoting Kickstart Opportunities to Care for Leavers, which provides funding for employers to create jobs for 16-24 year olds through universal credit.

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