What if I want to stay living where I am now?
Once you have reached the age of 18 you will not be a ‘Looked After Child’ but in some cases, especially where you are living in a foster placement, it may be possible for you to remain in your care placement after your 18th birthday - Staying Put
If you want to remain in your current placement for a period after your 18th birthday, you should discuss this with your social worker or Personal Advisor (PA).
Young people who are in a foster placement when they turn 18 may, if their foster carers agree, remain living with their foster carers until the age of 21. Councils have a legal requirement to support young people in what are known as ‘Staying Put’ arrangements, if both the young person and their carers agree. The same opportunity does not yet apply to young people who are in residential care.
A young person living in a Staying Put arrangement is entitled to some financial support and access to a Personal Adviser. The arrangement is not a continuation of a foster placement and the foster carer becomes the young person’s ‘former foster carer’.
Of course, some young people are ready to leave care and want to live independently at the age of 18, but Staying Put allows those in foster care to decide if they are ready or not. It allows a transition into adult life that is more like that experienced by the majority of young people in the UK.
Saying Put can mean Care Leavers have continuing security and support to take up education, employment or training opportunities. They also have longer to develop the practical and emotional skills necessary for independent living.
It is expected that the young person should make contributions to the household budget from their wages, allowances or benefits they may be entitled to claim, including Housing Benefit.