|1.||Returning Home||2.||Supported Lodgings||3.||Staying Put Arrangement|
|4.||Social Housing||5.||Private Rent|
3. What is the Staying Put Arrangement?
A Staying Put arrangement is not the same as a Foster Placement. You must be a former 'Relevant Child'. The Staying Put Arrangement is where young people get to remain with their former foster carers after their 18th birthday and can be in effect until their 25th birthday. Staying Put should be brought up with you during your pathway plan and be given as an option. Your Leaving Care Worker will discuss the process including finance, support, what is expected of you in the home, i.e. house rules. This will be a joint decision between you, your foster carers and Leaving Care Worker.
Staying Put is available to any young care leaver who is classed as "Eligible". A Care leaver must be currently living with an approved foster carer.
A staying put arrangement means you can live with foster parents up to the age of 21.
The law only applies to foster care and not any young person in any other setting, i.e. residential care, supported lodgings.
You and your Leaving Care Worker will sit down and make an assessment of your needs. Your needs will form your pathway plan. Your Leaving Care Worker will discuss your feelings on where you would like to live in the future. One of those options will be to remain living with your current foster carers.
Your decision to Stay Put will be discussed at each Pathway plan meeting. This is to make sure that staying put is still the best decision for you and your carer.
After the age of 18, the Staying Put arrangement will be put in place. Your accommodation will be reviewed at every pathway plan meeting. You can decide at any point that the Staying Put arrangement is not working for you or your foster carer and other arrangements can be made. The main thing to remember is no decision you make in regard to living arrangements is set in stone so if you are not happy, tell someone!
Your Leaving Care Worker will discuss all accommodation options with you including all benefits and issues for further information see Accommodation.
If I remain living with my Foster Carer, will anything change?
You are no longer in care and are now over the age of 18 and an adult care leaver, which means the amount of support available to you will reduce:
- You will be expected to contribute towards your living costs - this may be to your carer or to the Local Authority;
- You will be expected to pay for your own clothes, travel costs and spending money;
- Though your former foster carer is not your keeper, the likelihood is you will both have to sit and come up with a "Living Together agreement" on what is expected from both of you. This will mention issues/rules like what time you should be home, having friends over, what to do if you're staying overnight elsewhere;
- If your former Foster Carer is looking after other children in the same household as yourself you will have to have a DBS check.
- You may be able to claim benefits including Housing Benefit which should be used to contribute towards meeting the cost of your rent. For full benefits please see our Money page.
After the age of 21 you should be ready to live independently, but this may not be the case for everyone.
For those young people who are continuing education, or if you are struggling with a personal issue, then you can request to keep the arrangement in place for longer. Note that this decision is no longer the responsibility of your Leaving Care worker or the Local Authority, and is a decision made between you and your former foster carer.