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Fostering young people

Many children who need foster care are young people aged 13 to 17.

They need empathy, understanding, and boundaries. They need to be able to trust their carers to help them find their feet and achieve their potential.

They may have complex issues like:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Poor mental health
  • Education issues
  • Criminal or risk-taking behaviour

You will need to be available, flexible, committed, and able to provide nurturing care with strong boundaries.

Preparing for adulthood

When your foster child is 16, their social worker and personal advisor will work with them to create their pathway plan. This is a care plan that details:

  • The actions needed to help the young person become more independent as they approach the age of 18
  • The services and support they will need after they turn 18. This may include a staying put arrangement.

You will work with the personal advisor to help your foster child prepare for adulthood. You will need to encourage them to become more independent. But you must also make sure they know you are there to support them when they need it.

Financial support

Fees and allowances

You will get fees and allowances for providing short-term or long-term care for a young person. Your basic maintenance allowance changes when your young person is 16. They will get a personal allowance and become more financially independent.

Personal allowance for young people in foster care

Education and training costs

Education and training are free for all 16 to 19-year-olds. Your foster child may be able to get help from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund to pay for education-related costs. For example, things like clothing, books, and other equipment.

Staying put arrangements

As a foster carer, you may choose to extend the time your young person stays with you through the staying put scheme. This gives young people in care the option to continue living with the family beyond the age of 18.

Webpages related to Children who need fostering

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Foster East logo

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