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5.7.3 Staying Put


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Aims
  3. Objectives
  4. Entitlement to ‘Stay Put’
  5. Establishing a Staying Put Arrangement
  6. Professional Roles
  7. Paperwork
  8. Finance and Funding Sources
  9. The Young Person’s Contribution
  10. Return to Staying Put/Retainer/Allowance
  11. Police Checks
  12. The Independent Sector
  13. Disability and Staying Put
  14. Young People Attending University and Other Settings Away from Home
  15. Out of County Placements
  16. Young Parent
  17. Monitoring and Reviewing Arrangements
  18. Ending the Staying Put Arrangement
  19. Young People in Residential Care


1. Introduction

Under National Minimum Standards 12.4 (April 2011):

‘The fostering service has a policy and practical arrangements which enable children to remain with their foster carer(s) into legal adulthood, for example so that s/he may develop appropriate life skills before moving to more independent accommodation. Any such decisions are agreed with foster carers and young person at a placement meeting and are detailed in a child’s placement plan.’

A Staying Put arrangement is where a Former Relevant child, after ceasing to be Looked After, remains in the former foster home where they were placed immediately before they ceased to be Looked After, beyond the age of 18.

It is the duty of the local authority:

  • To monitor the Staying Put arrangement; and
  • To provide advice, assistance and support to the Former Relevant child and the former foster parent with a view to maintaining the Staying Put arrangement (this must include financial support), until the child reaches the age of 21 (unless the local authority consider that the Staying Put arrangement is not consistent with the child’s welfare).

It is expected that if the young person is still in the Staying Put placement at 20 years of age, the final year will be used to plan and develop their moving on plan and the majority will have moved prior to their 21st birthday with the support of their former foster carer as well as their aftercare personal advisor.

Derbyshire County Council’s criteria to remain with former foster carers in a Staying Put arrangement after the age of 18 usually requires a young person to be engaged in, or actively seeking to be engaged in education, training or employment (ETE), or exempt from doing so as a consequence of ill health or disability.

Young people living with foster carers supported by independent providers should be treated in the same way as those young people living with local authority in-house foster carers when consideration is given to a ‘staying put’ arrangement. Local authorities should have discussions with independent fostering providers at an early stage regarding the option of a ‘staying put’ arrangement. This discussion should include the amount of allowance the local authority will pay the former foster carer.

If a young person feels that his/her wish to remain with their former foster carer has not been properly considered by the local authority or they are unhappy with the way in which the local authority has acted, they may wish to speak to their Independent Reviewing Officer who chairs their reviews before they turn 18 and request a review of their Pathway Plan. The young person should be told of their right to use their local authority’s complaints procedure to voice their concerns, and of their right to have an independent Advocate.

Note: Where a Staying Put arrangement is in place, the local authority, where appropriate, may consider delegating part of the Personal Adviser function to the foster carer (see Leaving Care and Transition Procedure).


2. Aims

The key aims of the Staying Put Policy are to:

  • Enable young people to retain links with their carers; so that they can move to independent living at their own pace whilst retaining the support necessary to make the transition to adulthood, as their non-looked after peers would enjoy;
  • Provide the stability and support necessary for young people to achieve in education, training and/or employment.


3. Objectives

The Staying Put Policy meets the objectives laid out in the Children Act 1989 and the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, to address the needs of young people in care as they move towards independence. The guidance of Children (Leaving Care) Act recommends converting foster placements at 18 into supported lodgings. The Staying Put arrangement promotes the Acts’ main aims to young people, which are:

  • To delay young people's discharge from care until they are ready and prepared;
  • To improve the assessment, preparation and planning for leaving care;
  • To provide better personal support for young people after leaving care;
  • To improve the financial arrangements for care leavers.

This project also fits within the Public Service Agreement 2 National Indicators 147 and 148, which identify whether:

  • The young person is living  in suitable accommodation;
  • The young person is in Education, Training or Employment.

Staying Put supports DCC's Children and Young People’s Plan and the views expressed by Care Leavers in relation to the Care Leaver Charter; in particular giving young people who are in stable, supportive placements the opportunity to pursue education, training and employment in order to participate both socially and economically as citizens, without the disruption of having to move into 'independence' during this critical period of their lives.

Many young people who have been looked after by the local authority experience a compressed transition from childhood to adulthood (Professor Mike Stein - University of York), and the option to Stay Put seeks to protract and normalise the young person's experience of moving into adulthood. Staying Put fits within DCC's aspiration to be a good corporate parent to all young people for whom it has acted as a substitute family.

The project also provides a framework to support care leavers at university to return to their former carers during vacation time, and young people who commence basic training with the armed services to return to their carers during breaks, reflecting the on-going support which would be available to young people living in supportive families.

Staying Put can also contribute to 'decreasing' the role of the Personal Adviser with these young people, by taking into account the relationship and support provided by the former foster carer to the young person, enabling the Personal Adviser to work with other Care Leavers who may be living independently with less support and in more disadvantaged circumstances.

Staying Put will offer carers improved training opportunities and prepare them to support teenagers into adulthood in a planned and individual way. The training offered will complement the training requirements for foster carers. The investment and commitment of the foster carers is acknowledged through better levels of remuneration and support, increasing the retention of foster carers who find their task rewarding and fulfilling.

The Staying Put Project reflects the Government’s determination to improve the experiences of children in care, to challenge the poor outcomes historically experienced by young people in care, and to reduce the gap between the quality of life of young people in the care of the local authority and those raised in supportive families.


4. Entitlement to ‘Stay Put’

In Derbyshire a young person is entitled to Stay Put in their foster placement if on reaching 18 years of age they are engaged in Education, Training or Employment (ETE). This is conducive to the stability of the placement, and is consistent with wanting the young person to achieve economic well-being by offering the young person continuity of support to improve their life chances.

Exceptionally a young person, who is not engaged in ETE but is actively seeking to be engaged, may Stay Put. Young people not in ETE have a 3 month window of opportunity to secure their engagement in ETE. After the 3 months of not being engaged in ETE has elapsed the opportunity to Stay Put may be extended for a further 3 months through a process of referral to the Staying Put Co-ordinator. The Staying Put Coordinator may only extend the opportunity to Stay Put for a further maximum period of 3 months in order to provide the young person with the support and stability to become engaged in ETE.

After a 6 month consecutive period of not being in engaged in ETE the young person will be helped to move on from their Staying Put arrangement within 28 days.

If those opportunities for education, training or employment are not available then consideration will be given to extend the placement beyond six months. However, the young person should be actively encouraged to involve themselves in community activities, voluntary work or a self-improvement course.

Young people in foster placements who are assessed as not being able to live independently at 21 years of age will be assisted by their social worker, to identify alternative choices/options by their 18th birthday in line with transition planning.


5. Establishing a Staying Put Arrangement

When carrying out an assessment of an Eligible child’s needs, the local authority must determine whether it would be appropriate to provide advice, assistance and support to facilitate a Staying Put arrangement.  Where they determine that it would be appropriate, and where the child and the local authority foster parent wish to make a Staying Put arrangement, then the local authority must provide such advice, assistance and support to facilitate a Staying Put arrangement.

The option of Staying Put should be identified within the young person's Care Planning/Pathway Planning process no less than 12 months before their 18th birthday The Leaving Care Worker should inform the Staying Put Coordinator if a Staying Put arrangement has been identified as an option and is being considered by the young person and foster carers. Consideration should be given to whether the young person’s needs would be better met via the Shared Lives/Adult Placement scheme if their level of needs requires support from Adult Care.

An arrangement to Stay Put must be agreed by both the young person and the foster carers. Advice about the differences between a foster placement and a Staying Put arrangement should be given to the young person and foster carers by the Leaving Care Worker, Supervising Social Worker or Staying Put Coordinator, in order for both parties to make an informed decision about proceeding with the arrangement.

Occasionally young people or carers may change their minds after making an initial decision about Staying Put. The system should always allow both young people and foster carers to change their minds about establishing a Staying Put arrangement, but care should be taken to avoid disruption to a young person's education at a critical time.

The Leaving Care Worker should forward a copy of the young person's Pathway Plan to the Staying Put Coordinator no less than 6 weeks before the young person's 18th birthday.

The Leaving Care Worker will work with the young person to assess what financial contribution they will need to make to the cost of Staying Put. The Leaving Care Worker will also work with the young person to maximise their entitlement to benefits and calculate the amount required from the Staying Put budget. Consideration should also be given to ensure that applications for benefits do not discourage a young person from obtaining or maintaining part or full-time employment.

The Leaving Care Worker will ensure that all claims for benefits are submitted in a timely fashion that minimises any potential disruption in allowances being received by the former carer. The Leaving Care Worker will in conjunction with the young person follow up these claims for benefits until a decision has been made and a payment commences. In certain circumstances it may be necessary for the Leaving Care Worker to agree with the Staying Put Coordinator contingency arrangements so that the former carer's level of remuneration is not disrupted. 

The Leaving Care Worker will in collaboration with the Supervising Social Worker convene a Staying Put support meeting immediately prior to the young person's 18th birthday, and in collaboration with the young person and foster carer and the Staying Put Coordinator complete a Staying Put agreement. The purpose of the Staying Put agreement meeting is for both the former carers and the young person to appreciate what is expected of each other.

The Staying Put Coordinator will complete a Staying Put ‘Generate Payment Form’ no less than 2 weeks before the young person's 18th birthday and forward this form onto the relevant person in Children's Social Care Finance.

For young people who have exceptional need or circumstances and may require additional funding support, a request will be directed to the Deputy Assistant Director for a decision.


6. Professional Roles

The Leaving Care Worker will continue to provide support to the young person throughout the Staying Put process. They will complete Pathway Plans and support the young person within the new arrangement with the former carers. The Leaving Care Worker will ensure that the young person understands the terms of the Staying Put agreement. This may include reinforcing what the young person is expected to purchase from their Income Maintenance (Job Seekers Allowance/Income Support or equivalent), supporting the young person to apply for relevant funding and benefits, and helping them to establish a method of making any regular payments such as Local Housing Allowance/Housing benefit to the former carer according to the terms of the agreement. It should set the ‘ground rules’ of the household as well as the areas of responsibility that all parties to the arrangement are expected to fulfil.

It should be assessed from the outset how the arrangement will help the young person develop the skills required for independent living once they move on. They should be supported to continue to develop a range of skills including:

  • Relationships - getting on with neighbours; understanding acceptable behaviour; when and how to communicate with relevant professionals;
  • Emotional Resilience - managing isolation and where to go for support. Building self-esteem;
  • Finance and budgeting - opening a bank account, safe borrowing and managing debt, understanding basic financial products, benefits and welfare reform; budgeting for priority bills, household appliances and everyday shopping on a budget;
  • Cooking - cooking healthily and on a budget; understanding nutrition and its impact on overall health;
  • Managing a home - washing and ironing, cleaning, basic DIY, operating appliances and what is allowed within a tenancy; and
  • Applying for jobs - understanding strengths and areas for personal development; developing job skills, understanding job/volunteering pathways and support available; understanding bursaries and other financial support; where to go for advice; understanding the impact of work on benefits.

For DCC Foster Carers, if other children are in placement, the Supervising Social Worker will continue to provide support to the carer for those children and ensure that Disclosure and Barring Service checks are undertaken on the young person who is staying put in line with Fostering Regulations. The Staying Put Co-ordinator’s role will involve supporting the carer to understand the nature of the Staying Put arrangement and their entitlement to funding, and advise the carer about their changing role with the young person under the Staying Put arrangement. The Staying Put Coordinator will be able to provide on-going signposting and advice about tax and national insurance implications and personal liability insurance.

For Foster Carers who work for an Independent Fostering Agency, in most circumstances the Staying Put Coordinator will provide the support to the former carer, rather than the agency worker. The support and advice provided will be similar to that described above, and will reflect that the Independent Fostering Agency is no longer actively involved in supporting the former carers to provide on-going care and support to the young person who is Staying Put.

Key information and training will be offered to carers in the lead up to a post 18 Staying Put arrangement. If carers continue to foster they will continue to be registered as carers and undergo an annual review and comply with Minimum National Standards. If they leave fostering and only provide Staying Put, the annual review will be conducted through the supported lodgings/staying put, review panel annually. 

Dependent on the planned length of the Staying Put arrangement; consideration must be given to the carers Foster Carer registration i.e. whether they intend to return to fostering once the young person has moved on and how this will be undertaken.

The local authority will discuss with the former foster carer whether they require any particular training and guidance to help support the young person. The type of support that a former foster carer will need to provide in a ‘staying put’ arrangement is likely to be different to that they provided when fostering the young person. It should be explored with the former foster carer the type of training and support they think they will require, particularly in helping the young person develop their independent life skills. Whether the former foster carer is from the local authority or an independent fostering service, careful consideration should be given to continued support which could include peer support.


7. Paperwork

The Pathway Plan should identify an intention to establish a Staying Put arrangement.

A Staying Put Agreement should be completed before the Staying Put arrangement begins.

The Staying Put Coordinator will forward payment authorisation no less than two weeks before the young person's 18th birthday. The Staying Put Coordinator will forward the finance form to the relevant person in Children's Social Care Finance.

Staying Put agreements, which will include a Licence Agreement, should be completed prior to the commencement of the Staying Put Arrangement. 


8. Finance and Funding Sources

Former carers should be given information about the income tax and national insurance implications of the Staying Put arrangement.  Former carers will continue to receive the tax allowances that they did as foster carers, currently only paying tax on an income of over £10,000 per year/£250 per week.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom (HMRC) have stated that the same arrangements that apply to Adult Placement 'Shared Lives' carers should apply to former foster placements if the carer continues to provide support, and continues to receive the same level of payment.

Adult placement Carers are treated as self-employed for tax purposes and can pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions in order to qualify for basic state pension.

For carers who are in receipt of welfare benefits, advice should be given about whether Staying Put payments will be disregarded or considered as income for means tested benefits. These payments may include:

  • Rent payments paid to the carer;
  • Payments from the young person to the carer;
  • Payments from DCC to the carer (made under The Children Act 1989).

Legislation regarding the treatment of payments to the carer is complex, and individual financial circumstances vary, and it may be necessary to advise the carer to seek specialist advice (from Citizens Advice Bureau, for example) about their specific circumstances and the effect of the Staying Put arrangement on their tax, national insurance, welfare benefits, and working tax credit or child tax credit.

If the carers are tenants themselves, it is advisable for them to check their tenancy agreement and ensure that their lease allows them to have a lodger.

If the carers are mortgage payers it is advisable for them to check whether having a lodger is within the terms and conditions of their mortgage lender and insurer.

It is advisable for carers to inform the Insurance Company providing their household insurance when a young person is no longer a fostered child but remaining in their home as an adult lodger, and to check that existing insurance arrangements still provide adequate household cover under this arrangement.

Foster Carers are currently covered for legal protection insurance provided and paid for by DCC in the case of an allegation made against them by a foster child. Carers, as part of the transfer to Staying Put, will be informed by the Staying Put Coordinator, that this legal protection insurance cover does not continue under a Staying Put arrangement.

At 18, if not in employment, young people will be assisted to claim benefits.

Fees payable

The fee payable to the Staying Put provider will be an amount equivalent to the Household Element of the fostering allowance for the 16+ age group. In 2014, at the time of writing, this is £152.98.

Of this, £55 of this is for rent and the remainder is for support and household costs.

The young person’s contribution to their Staying Put placement (£25 at the time of writing) and any housing benefit will be deducted from this figure.

The payment to the Staying Put provider therefore will be made up of funding from:

  • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) or Housing Benefit - the amount varies according to area;
  • £25 contribution from the young person, from income or entitlement to grants, allowances or benefits;
  • DCC Staying Put funding will make up the balance of the cost to the equivalent of the Household element of the fostering allowance.

Contract Care/Children First/Foster Plus/Independent Fostering Agency Placements

If the Staying Put provider was previously in receipt of Foster Plus, or was a contract care or independent fostering agency carer (also see Section 14, Out of County Placements), the provider will be paid an additional fee, which equates to the full Foster Plus allowance for the first 6 months, reducing by 25% each 6 months. At the end of a 2 year period, they will be paid the equivalent of the Household Element of the fostering allowance in line with other Staying Put providers.

The Christmas and birthday allowance will cease to be paid to the carer once the young person reaches 18 years old.

A young person may not be able to claim Local Housing Allowance/Housing benefit if the Carers are already in receipt of Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance to meet their own housing costs and in these circumstances, the additional funding will come from the Staying Put budget, under Section 24 of The Children Act 1989. A letter will be written to the former carer by the Staying Put Coordinator confirming that payments are being made under Section 24 of the Children Act 1989 to support the young person in education, and that the payment should be disregarded for income tax and benefit purposes.


9. The Young Person’s Contribution

The young person’s remaining income will enable them to purchase things that would previously have been included in the fostering allowance, and is intended to enable the young person to develop budgeting skills. This would include travel, clothes and toiletries, and should cover social and leisure activities.

Of the £25 a week paid by the young person to the carer, £15 is a contribution towards food and £10 is a contribution towards shared household costs (basic food/drink items, washing powder and cleaning products).

The Leaving Care Worker will continue to encourage the young person to access employment. If the young person has earnings over £58.45 (at the time of writing), their housing benefit will reduce and the young person will need to contribute more from their income towards the rental element of the Staying Put fee. If the young person is in employment and earns more than the equivalent of the household element per week, they will need to pay the full rental element of the Staying Put fee (currently £55) in addition to their £25 contribution to food and bills.

If in exceptional circumstances, a young person's level of income is so low that they are unable to contribute, the former carer will suffer no detriment, and if necessary the council will make the provision where it cannot be found from another source.

Financial arrangements will be reviewed at a minimum on an annual basis, or earlier if there is a significant change in financial circumstances.

Whilst the level of financial support payable will depend upon individual needs and circumstances, former foster carers will be paid an allowance that will cover all reasonable costs of supporting the care leaver to remain living with them. Clear information will be provided to foster carers on the financial support which may be provided for staying put arrangements, in order to help foster carers plan well in advance whether they wish to participate in such arrangements.

When deciding upon the level of financial support payable, careful consideration will have to be given to the impact of the ‘staying put’ arrangement on the family’s financial position. The impact will vary from family to family.

The young person may be able to claim income support or be entitled to a bursary if they are in full-time education. For more information please see the Derbyshire County Council website for information on the Virtual School.

The young person can usually claim Local Housing Allowance or Housing Benefit and as a Care Leaver, will be exempt from the single room rent restriction.

Local Housing Allowance will usually be paid direct to the young person and they will be expected to maintain arrangements to pay this to the former carer. Housing benefit payments can, with the young person’s permission, be made directly to the Staying Put provider.

Benefits will be changing due to the Welfare Reform Act 2012. This will affect much of the information above. The biggest change is that Universal Credit replaces housing benefit, tax credits, income support, JSA and income based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from October 2013 for new claims and by 2017 for existing claims. Universal credit will be paid calendar monthly and will generally be paid in full to the claimant with the rent element no longer being paid directly to the landlord. Universal credit will not be available to people aged under 18 unless they are a lone parent or unable to work due to disability.

The young person should be advised that if they do not make these payments of Local Housing Allowance to the carers:

  • It will result in the placement ending;
  • It may impact on their future ability to claim LHA;
  • If the failure to pay results in the Staying Put arrangement being terminated the young person may be considered to be 'intentionally homeless' by the local housing authority.

In certain circumstances LHA can be paid direct to the landlord if the claimant is likely to have difficulty in managing their financial affairs or if the tenant has built up rent arrears of eight weeks or more. (See Housing Benefit Local Housing Allowance Guidance Manual October 2007).

If the young person cannot claim Local Housing Allowance (or this will be detrimental to the carer’s income) the Local Authority will compensate by paying an amount equivalent to LHA to the former carers.


10. Return to Staying Put/Retainer/Allowance

A retainer can be paid in certain situations.

Young people are not expected to make a contribution to the retainer.

10.1 Return to Staying Put allowance

When a young person returns to stay for a period of time, the former carers will be paid at the current Staying Put rate. The young person will be expected to make a contribution to this of the standard Staying Put rate of £25 a week.

10.2 Retainer - Armed Services

If a young person joins the armed services the former carer can be paid a retainer while the young person completes the first three months of basic training.

10.3 Retainer – University

A young person at university funds their accommodation costs – term time and holidays – from their DCC university package.

Returning to former carers at Christmas and Holidays is achieved through an agreement with the carer about the level of rent and personal contribution they will make, taking account of the University funding package and any other source of income they might have.

The Staying Put Co-ordinator will offer advice on this, if requested.

A retainer can be paid to the former carer of a young person who is at university during term time.

At the time of writing, this is £150 per term and is intended to help carers to maintain contact with the young person whilst they are away, for example for travel costs.


11. Police Checks

If the former carer is going to continue to be a Foster Carer the young person in the Staying Put arrangement will need to have a DBS Check as they become an adult living in the home.

If the former carers are still registered with DCC as foster carers the DBS checks will continue routinely.


12. The Independent Sector

The Independent Fostering Agencies which have been awarded a contract to make provision to Derbyshire County Council are required to adhere to the Council's policy with respect to post 18 arrangements.

If the young person and carer are willing to convert the placement to a Staying Put arrangement and be paid the current Staying Put rate (plus the additional fee for the first two years – see Section 5, Establishing a Staying Put Arrangement) then the IFA should not do anything to obstruct this arrangement.

The Pathway Plan should set out what support should be provided, as in effect the role of the IFA ends at 18. A young person cannot legally be 'looked after' after their 18th birthday. On-going support to former carers in the independent sector will usually be provided by the Staying Put Coordinator.


13. Disability and Staying Put

The Staying Put rate for disabled young people previously in local authority foster care will be made up of the equivalent of the Household Element of the fostering allowance plus the equivalent of the Foster Plus/Children First rate.

Disabled young people (who have been assessed to meet the Health and Community Services, Fair Access to Care Services - FACS) are able to claim Employment and Support Allowance from their 16th birthday. The pocket money and clothing allowance should therefore cease to be paid to the foster carer at that point and should be replaced by the young person’s welfare claim from their 16th birthday.

Housing benefit should be claimed when the young person reaches 18 years of age.

A Staying Put arrangement should cease when the young person’s education statement ceases (end of school year 13, when the young person is aged 19-20 years) and the placement should be converted to an Adult (Health and Community Services) placement, with case and financial responsibility transferring to adult services.

It will need to be determined whether the young person has the capacity to make their own decisions about their future.

If it is decided following assessment that the young person lacks the capacity to make their own decisions, any actions or decisions made on their behalf should be in their best interests (Mental Capacity Act 2005). Consideration should be given to appointing an independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA).

If the young person has significant health care needs in addition to care and accommodation needs, the Department of Health NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist July 2009 should be completed. This will determine eligibility for an assessment for NHS continuing health care.


14. Out of County Placements

For young people placed with foster carers out of County, the Staying Put Policy is still applicable and should be considered with the young person and the carer as part of the pathway planning process from when the young person is 16 years of age.

If the young person in an out of County placement has additional support needs, wishes to stay with carers post 18 (carers are also in agreement) and is likely to require a service from adult services, a decision around their agreed ‘Ordinary Residence’ will be required. It is advisable that planning for post 18 services starts as early as possible and at least from the time that the child is 16 years old (or earlier if the disabilities are severe). See Leaving Care and Transition Procedure, Pathway Planning.

If the young person has significant health care needs in addition to care and accommodation needs, the Department of Health NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist July 2009 should be completed. This will determine eligibility for an assessment for NHS continuing health care.

Firstly it will need to be determined whether the young person has the capacity to make their own decisions about their future. A Capacity assessment should be undertaken by the young person’s (Children’s) social worker. This can be done with the advice of an Adult’s social worker from the placing Authority or jointly if agreed. The resident Authority may also wish to undertake their own capacity assessment so this needs to be done in the most unobtrusive way to the young person and not subject them to several separate assessments. If the young person is deemed capable of making an informed choice, their preferred area in which to reside may be considered their ‘Ordinary Residence’. However, the young person will remain the responsibility of the placing Authority until they are 18 years. The Staying Put arrangement should therefore be pursued to ensure that the young person has a smooth transition to adult services and is not left without secure accommodation at 18 years. It is vital that joint planning between the young person’s social worker and the resident adult services starts as soon as possible after clarification of ordinary residence and capacity. The resident Authority may subsequently re-assess the Staying Put provider as an adult (Health and Community Services) placement provider.

If it is decided following assessment that the young person lacks the capacity to make their own decisions, any actions or decisions made on their behalf should be in their best interests (Mental Capacity Act 2005). Consideration should be given to appointing an independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA).


15. Young People Attending University and Other Settings Away from Home

Living away from the former foster carer’s home for temporary periods such as attending higher education courses should not preclude a ‘staying put’ arrangement. This might include a residential further education institution; undertaking induction training for the armed services or other training or employment programmes that require a young person to live away from home.


16. Young Parent

If a young person in a Staying Put arrangement has a child living with them, the former carer will be entitled to the equivalent of the household element of the fostering allowance for a child in that age range. At the time of writing, for a child aged 0-1, this is £96.25. As the young parent will be receiving benefits in relation to their child, they will be expected to make a further £10 contribution towards this fee. Derbyshire County Council would fund the remaining £86.25. 


17. Monitoring and Reviewing Arrangements

Staying Put Arrangements should be reviewed at the Pathway Plan Review a minimum of every six months. This should include a review of any problems or difficulties which have emerged, and what is working well.

A review can be arranged earlier by agreement between the young person, carers, and the professionals involved.

The young person and carers can also access advice at other times from the Leaving Care Worker and/or Staying Put Coordinator.


18. Ending the Staying Put Arrangement

The Staying Put arrangements can be ended before the young person's 21st birthday, by the young person or former carer giving relevant notice.  Both parties should give as much notice as possible, and this should in most circumstances be a minimum of 28 days notice. The licence agreement allows for the ending of the arrangement with 7 days notice for a breach of the agreement, but in exceptional circumstances it can be terminated with immediate effect. Local authorities may wish to continue supporting a young person beyond age 21 if it meets their individual needs, such as finishing their course or education.

The Staying Put arrangements will end when the young person becomes 21. If a young person will be at a critical time in their education (e.g. final exam period) at the time when they reach 21 years they will be able to Stay Put until after this period.

Planning will be undertaken to ensure young person can move on into suitable accommodation.

The local authority will want to ensure that the end of a ‘staying put’ arrangement is not another ‘cliff edge’ for the young person but a gradual transition to independent living. The social worker/personal adviser should discuss with the young person their transition from such an arrangement to another type of accommodation and agree the type of support the young person will require. These arrangements should be developed alongside joint protocols with the housing authority, setting out how access to social housing and care leavers ‘priority need’ status will be discharged.

When planning to end a Staying Put arrangement as a young person approaches 21, it needs to be considered that a young person will no longer be classed as in "priority need" for social housing when they reach 21 years. 6 months prior to the young person turning 21, a plan will be considered by all parties to look at what accommodation will be available, and how this will be accessed.


19. Young People in Residential Care

Young people may also 'stay put' in children's homes or other residential settings, beyond the age of 18, if this enables them to complete an educational course or qualification. This needs to be considered at their first Looked After Review following his or her 16th birthday and agreement obtained from the relevant Head of Service (Localities) and Head of Children in Care Provision. Practice guidance on this will be jointly developed during 2015 by young people and residential staff.

End