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23.10.19

Government announces £19m fund to support young people leaving care

Support programmes for young people leaving care, totalling £19m, announced today (Oct 23) ahead of National Care Leavers Week.

To mark National Care Leavers Week, education secretary Gavin Williamson, has announced new cross-government care available to young care leavers. On top of this, £19m of investment to fund programmes set up directly to benefit them.

Better housing, healthcare and employment opportunities will all part of the new multi-million-pound project aimed at improving the life chances of vulnerable people leaving care.

The funding is made up of £10m to create stable homes, through programme Staying Put, helping vulnerable young people to stay with their foster families longer, creating stability and a smoother transition into independence.

Of the funding, £6m will be dedicated to helping care leavers live independently, through the roll-out of Staying Close, a programme starting in 2021/22.

The final £3m will extend the Pupil Premium Plus to all 16-18-year olds, to help guide them into further education.

To support this funding, the education secretary has also committed to delivering 1,000 internships exclusively for care leavers over the next two years, making long-term quality jobs an attainable reality.

This is an expansion of the existing Civil Service Internship Scheme, which has offered permanent jobs to 220 care leavers across Whitehall and other public sector bodies.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Young people leaving care face enormous barriers in their lives as they move towards independence, from not having a trusted person in their life to rely on, to not having a safe home to return to at the end of the day.”

“Housing, healthcare and education are three of the biggest obstacles they have to overcome. We all have a responsibility to do better for them – so I’m bringing together colleagues from across government to join me in transforming the support we offer care leavers in all of these key areas to make the biggest difference in their lives.”

“This starts immediately, because we must raise the bar for these young people, to give them greater stability and a strong sense of purpose in adulthood.”

The new measures will support existing work ongoing by the Department for Education, tackling the root causes for children being taken into care and programmes designed to strengthen families and support stable homes.

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