DfE announces increased funding for Staying Put

By Neil Puffett

| 16 March 2016

Local authorities are set to receive a total of £22.2m this year to cover the cost of allowing young people to remain in foster care placements until their 21st birthday, it has been announced.

Councils will get a total of £22.2m in 2016/17 to cover the cost of Staying Put placements. Picture: Janaki Mahadevan

The figure, set out in a letter to councils from the Department for Education, represents a 50 per cent increase on the £14.8m that councils received in 2015/16.

It takes the combined government funding for the first three years of Staying Put to £44.4m – 11 per cent more than the £40m first announced for the three-year period in December 2013.

It has previously been claimed that a lack of funding is harming Staying Put. A report published in December by the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers warned that the £40m additional government funding for councils to implement the scheme – which gives all fostered children the right to request to stay in their placement from the age of 18 up to 21 – is not enough due to wider cuts across children’s services.

Last month children’s minister Edward Timpson revealed details of Staying Put take-up rates in all English local authority areas.

Across England, there were 3,230 young people in a foster placement on their 18th birthday during the year ending 31 March 2015.

Of these, a total of 1,560 remained with their former foster carers three months after their 18th birthday – representing 48.3 per cent of the total.

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