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5.9.3 Staying Put

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

A Staying Put arrangement is where a young person who has been living in foster care remains in the former foster home after the age of 18.

RELATED GUIDANCE

The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers (January 2015)

Staying Put - Arrangements for Care Leavers Aged 18 and Above to Stay on With Their Former Foster Carers – Government Guidance issued by the DfE, DWP and HMRC (2013)

Staying Put: Good Practice Guide

AMENDMENT

This chapter was significantly updated in December 2016 to add a new section, Section 10, Staying Put Agreement which contains guidance; roles and responsibilities and a detailed agreement pro-forma– including payments.


Contents

  1.  Introduction
  2.  Planning
  3.  Professional Roles
  4.  Legal Status and Safeguarding
  5.  Support for Foster Carers
  6.  Financial Implications
  7.  Young People Attending University and Other Settings Away from Home
  8.  Interface with Adults Services
  9.  Ending of Staying Put Arrangements
  10. Staying Put Agreement


1. Introduction

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).

Under the Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010, Planning Transition into Adulthood for Care Leavers Guidance and Government Guidance Staying Put - Arrangements for Care Leavers Aged 18 and Above to Stay on With Their Former Foster Carers (2013), the Local Authority must provide information about extending foster placements post-18.

The intention of Staying Put arrangements is to ensure that young people can remain with their former foster carers until they are prepared for adulthood, can experience a transition akin to their peers, avoid social exclusion and be more likely to avert a subsequent housing and tenancy breakdown.

(Note that the term ‘arrangement’ should be used rather than ‘placement’ - the term ‘placement’ denotes a situation where the local authority arranged and placed the child with a foster carer. Once the child reaches the age of eighteen and legal adulthood, the local authority is no longer making a placement, but facilitating a Staying Put arrangement for the young person.)

Consideration will need to be given to the impact on foster carers' approval and their terms of approval, including the numbers approved for, and whether this number includes the Staying Put young person.

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.


2. Planning

Discussion should start with the young person and foster carer regarding the option of staying put as early as possible, ideally before the young person reaches the age of 16.

If this has not already been done, the first Children Looked After Review following his or her 16th birthday should consider whether a Staying Put arrangement should be an option. This will entail assessing the implications for both the young person and the foster carer.

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 6 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.

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 Carers by the Young Persons Team Social Worker/Personal Advisor or Supervising Social Worker, 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 Young Persons Team Worker should forward a copy of the young person's Pathway Plan to the Fostering Manager no less than 6 weeks before the young person's 18th birthday.

The Young Persons Team Worker will work with the young person to assess whether they will have to make a financial contribution 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 Young Persons Team 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 Young Persons Team 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 Young Persons Team Worker to agree with the Fostering Manager  contingency arrangements so that the former carer's level of remuneration is not disrupted.

The Young Persons Team 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 Fostering Supervising Social Worker complete a Staying Put agreement (see Section 10, 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 Fostering Manager will authorise Staying Put finances no less than 2 weeks before the young person's 18th birthday. And will forward this information onto the relevant person in Children's Social Care Payments Team.

The young person’s Pathway Plan (which may include a ‘Staying Put agreement’ from age 18) should set out all of the practical arrangements regarding the young person remaining as a young adult in the Staying Put arrangement. It should set out the ‘ground rules’ of the household as well as the areas of responsibility that all parties to the arrangement are expected to fulfil. Many of these will be an extension of the expectations on them when they were a foster child. This will cover arrangements such as:

  • Preparation for adulthood and independence tasks;
  • Finance, including young people having credit cards, loan agreements and mobile phone contracts registered at the address;
  • Income and benefit claims;
  • Friends and partners visiting and staying at the address;
  • Staying away for nights/weekends and informing carers of movements;
  • Education, training and employment activities;
  • Health arrangements;
  • Move-on arrangements;
  • Issues related to younger foster care children in the placement, i.e. safeguarding, being a positive role model and time-keeping.

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.


3. Professional Roles

The Young Persons Team 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 Young Persons Team  Worker will ensure that the young person understands the terms of the Staying Put agreement (see Section 10, Staying Put Agreement). This may include reinforcing what the young person is expected to purchase from their Income Maintenance (JSA/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 to the former carer according to the terms of the agreement.

For Knowsley MBC Foster Carers, if other children are in placement, the Supervising Social Worker will continue to provide support to the carer for those children. The Supervising Social Worker'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 Supervising Social Worker will be able to provide ongoing advice about tax and National Insurance implications, and about personal liability insurance. Knowlsey MBC have a link on their Knowlsey Website which directs people to the HMRC website where there is information on tax and national insurance. See also Section 6, Financial Implications.

For Foster Carers who work for an Independent Fostering Agencies, in most circumstances the Fostering Manager /ART 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 ongoing care and support to the young person who is Staying Put.

Former carers should be given information about the income tax and national insurance implications of the Staying Put arrangement. Former carers can no longer use the 'foster care relief' scheme, but there are a number of tax concessions for Adult Placement schemes.

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 Knowsley MBC to the carer (made under The Children Act 1989).

A young person may not be able to claim Local Housing Allowance if the Carers are already in receipt of Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance to meet their own housing costs.

In circumstances where all the funding for a Staying Put arrangement comes from the Staying Put budget, the payment can be made under Section 24 of The Children Act 1989. In these circumstances, a letter should be written to the former carer by the Fostering Manager 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.

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 Knowsley MBC in the case of an allegation made against them by a foster child. Carers must be informed that this legal protection insurance cover does not continue under a Staying Put arrangement.

Key information and training will be offered to carers in the lead up to a post 18 Staying Put arrangement. Carers will continue to be registered as carers and undergo an annual review and comply with the Fostering National Standards.

3.1 Key Actions

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 Fostering Manager will forward payment authorisation no less than two weeks before the young person's 18th birthday. The Fostering Manager will forward the details of finance payable  to the relevant person in Children's Social Care Payments Team.

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


4. Legal Status and Safeguarding

Following the young person's 18th birthday, the legal basis on which they occupy the property (former foster home) changes (the legal term is that the young person becomes an 'excluded licensee' lodging in the home) - this should not denote that the young person will be treated differently than they were as a fostered child. In addition, the carer may also become, and be deemed the young person's landlord/landlady.

The associated change from foster child to adult member of the household, and for the carer from Foster Carer to Staying Put Carer, should be carefully and sensitively planned in order to ensure that both young people and the carer's understand the nature of the arrangement and that the positive aspects of being in foster care are not diminished by the new legal and financial arrangements and terminology.

Where Foster Children are Living in the Staying Put Arrangement

Where fostered children are living in the household, the checks and requirements associated with fostering legislation will apply and will provide a framework for safeguarding and checking arrangements for the whole household.

In these situations the carer must remain an approved foster carer and the Fostering Services (England) Regulations and Guidance will apply with the consequential requirements of supervision, review and safeguarding. Whilst the fostering legislation will primarily apply to the placements of the fostered children, it does ensure that a system of approval, checking and supervision is applied to the whole household.

Additionally, where foster children are in placement, the foster carers will need to be returned to the Fostering Panel due to a change in circumstances as the child/young person Staying Put will have reached adulthood and become an adult member of the fostering household.

Young people remaining in a foster care household at the age of eighteen will become adult members of the household and will require a valid Disclosure and Barring Service check in settings where a foster child or foster children are living. To ensure that the check (and possible subsequent risk assessment) is completed by the young person’s eighteenth birthday the process will need to commence in sufficient time.

Where No Foster Children are Living in the Staying Put Arrangement.

From the age of eighteen, young people are no longer legally ‘in care’ or Looked After and therefore fostering arrangements and legislation relating to children placed with foster carers no longer apply. While Fostering Regulations will no longer apply to these arrangements (if no foster child remains in the household), key standards should continue to govern the expectations of the Staying Put Arrangement.

This should include:

  • A system for considering if a person’s approval as a foster carer should be ended and for implementing the deregistration/termination process in circumstances where the foster carer is unlikely to be caring for any further foster children in the future;
  • A system for reviewing and approving the Staying Put arrangement and carer/s to ensure that the arrangement complies with local authority expectations;
  • Safeguarding and risk assessment checks on household members and in certain circumstances regular visitors;
  • Health and safety requirements (as a minimum this should comply with landlord and licensee/tenant requirements);
  • Regular supervision and support, possibly, from their fostering supervising social worker; and
  • Opportunities to attend appropriate training.

The Local Authority will need to assess individual circumstances and consider the appropriateness of all of these checks particularly where the young person is the only person placed/living with their carer/s and it is not envisaged that further children will be placed. In circumstances where it is clear that the carer will not be fostering any further children, it may be deemed appropriate to terminate their approval as a foster carer. In situations where it is possible that they may foster again in the future, it would be inappropriate to terminate their approval; given the length of time that re-approval would take. Where a foster carer’s approval is terminated, it will be necessary to ensure that the Staying Put arrangement continues to meet appropriate standards.

Safeguarding arrangements will need to be sufficient, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks on over 18 year olds and issues relating to fostered children in households.


5. Support for Foster Carers

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.


6. Financial Implications

See also: Staying Put - Arrangements for Care Leavers Aged 18 and Above to Stay on With Their Former Foster Carers – Government Guidance issued by the DfE, DWP and HMRC (2013).

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.

It will be necessary to consider:

  • How extending placements will impact on the allowances provided by the Local Authority and whether other funding, e.g. funding for housing related support, will contribute to meeting Staying Put costs;
  • Whether additional allowances provided when the child was a foster child to ensure they were embedded in the family will continue, for example holiday allowances, birthday and Christmas/festival allowances;
  • Any financial contributions from the young person from their wages, salary, benefits or educational allowances. Depending on their circumstances, young people who remain in a Staying Put arrangement may be able to claim means tested benefits for their personal needs from their eighteenth birthday;
  • The “Staying Put” carer is no longer expected to provide the personal needs element of the Boarding Out allowances to the young person, as they are expected to claim a means tested benefit, or have earnings from employment , apprenticeships, grants or any other earnings which will replace the £57.35. “The staying put carer will therefore receive a weekly allowance of £164.31 it is expected that this will cover food, bills, insurance travel etc. for the young person to continue living in the household”.
  • Staying Put carers who are skills carers will continue to receive skills payments however on the young person reaching their 18th Birthday this will be reduced to half the skills payments for this young person. In order for the carer to continue receiving the half skills payment there will be a requirement that the staying put carers attend the required training in order to maintain their skills to continuing to foster.
  • How the income tax, National Insurance and welfare benefits situation of carers may be affected by post-18 payments;
  • Insurance issues including liability and household insurance.

6.1 Staying Put Allowances

The financial package for the former carer will be equivalent to that received through fostering allowances minus the allowance made to the young person.

This is made up of funding from:

  • Housing benefit/Universal Credit - the amount varies according to area;
  • Any contribution from the young person, from income or entitlement to grants, allowances or benefits;
  • Knowsley Staying Put funding will make up the balance of the cost;
  • The “Staying Put” carer is no longer expected to provide the personal needs element of the Boarding Out allowances to the young person, as they are expected to claim a means tested benefit, or have earnings from employment, apprenticeships, grants or any other earnings which will replace the £57.35. “The staying put carer will therefore receive a weekly allowance of £164.31 it is expected that this will cover food, bills, insurance travel etc. for the young person to continue living in the household;
  • Staying Put carers who are skills carers will continue to receive skills payments however on the young person reaching their 18th Birthday this will be reduced to half the skills payments for this young person. In order for the carer to continue receiving the half skills payment there will be a requirement that the staying put carers attend the required training in order to maintain their skills to continuing to foster.

6.2 Financial Contributions From Young People

If the young person is employed or has an income of more than £50 per week they will be expected to make a contribution to the Staying Put arrangement. If a young person's income varies on a weekly basis, it may be averaged over a six week period to determine the level of the young person's contribution to the Staying Put arrangement.

If the young person's total average income over a 6 week period exceeds £50pw they will be expected to contribute 50% of their income over £50 towards the placement costs, up to a maximum of £50pw contribution.

The young person will keep the equivalent JSA of their income. It is intended that this money will be managed by the young person and used for things like toiletries and clothes, which will previously have been provided for the young person by the foster carer, from the fostering allowance.

The Young Persons Team Worker will continue to encourage Young Person to access employment. This may mean the contribution from the Staying Put budget is higher as they may be unable to claim Local Housing Allowance.

Where 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. There is a responsibility on all parties to advise either the Young Persons Team Worker or the Supervising Social Worker on any financial changes to the young person’s finances.

6.3 Means Tested Benefits

Where:

  • A young person continues to reside with their former foster carer after their eighteenth birthday on a non-commercial and familial basis; and
  • The child was Looked After immediately prior to their eighteenth birthday; and
  • The payments are made by the local authority to the carer under section 23C of the Children Act 1989 (continuing functions in respect of former relevant children).

Then the payments are disregarded in calculating the carers’ entitlement to means-tested benefits.

When a commercial arrangement is made, (i.e. any element of the cost of the arrangement comes from a source other than section 23C), the non-section 23C element will be taken into account in the calculation of the carer’s own means-tested benefit claim.

Additionally, the disregard is lost on the whole payment (section 23C and non-section 23C elements) when the young person first leaves the Staying Put arrangement, should the young person return to their former foster/Staying Put carer or move to another carer after their eighteenth birthday.

6.4 Housing Benefit/Universal Credit

There may be Housing Benefit implications as a result of Staying Put Arrangements. Housing Benefit is, however, being replaced by Universal Credit. Individual advice will therefore need to be obtained.

6.5 Council Tax and Council Tax Benefit

The position regarding Council Tax will vary depending on the circumstances of the carers, the number of adults in the household and the activity that the young person is engaged in.

Young people undertaking full time education are ‘invisible’ for council tax purposes.

6.6 Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Income Tax and National Insurance

For HMRC purposes only, there is a broader definition of ‘Staying Put. A ‘Staying Put’ carer (for HMRC purposes only) does not need to be a registered foster carer or former foster carer. This means that young people are able to return to a different Staying Put carer between the age of 18 and 21, (or until the completion of an education or training course) - for example during a university vacation.

Where a Staying Put arrangement meets the HMRC qualifying criteria, (and where the young adult continues to be cared for as a member of the carer’s family), the Income Tax and National Insurance rules that apply to foster carers are extended to Staying Put carers. The young people are required to share the Staying Put carers’ home and daily family life during the placement’ i.e. live as a ‘member of the carer’s family’. This system provides for foster carers and/or Staying Put carers to earn up to a given amount without paying Income Tax or Class 4 National Insurance Contributions on their caring income.

The Income Tax free allowance consists of two elements. Firstly, a fixed amount per foster care or Staying Put household. Secondly, an additional amount per week per child.

Where there is more than one paid Staying Put carer in the household, the allowance is shared equally by both carers.

The tax free allowance only applies to the Staying Put carer’s income from caring. If they have income from other sources, they will pay tax on that income in the normal manner.

Individual carers can consult their local HMRC office for guidance on their circumstances and liabilities.

For National Insurance Contributions purposes, in practice HMRC will treat the taxable profit from foster care or Staying Put care as earnings from self-employment. Foster care and Staying Put care is deemed as self-employment and as such carers should register as self-employed. All self-employed people aged 16 and over who are below State Pension age are liable and must register to pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions.

6.7 Insurance (Including Liability and Household Insurance)

Staying Put carers will be provided with information about liability insurance cover in situations where Staying Put young people may make an allegation against a foster child in placement, or against their Staying Put carer/s, or an allegation is made against the Staying Put young person.


7. 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.


8. Interface with Adults Services

The Staying Put framework is aimed at former relevant children who require an extended period with their former foster carer/s due to delayed maturity, vulnerability and/or in order to complete their education or training. Where young people have an on-going cognitive disability and meet the adult services Fair Access to Care Services criteria (Putting People First), foster placements should be converted to Adult Placements/Shared Lives Arrangements when the child reaches their eighteenth birthday. This is important to ensure that both the young person and the carer have a formal regulatory and safeguarding framework that addresses their respective needs.


9. Ending of Staying Put Arrangements

The Staying Put arrangement extends until:

  • The young person leaves the Staying Put arrangement; or
  • The young person reaches their twenty-first birthday; or
  • If the Local Authority are of the opinion that the staying put arrangement does not meet the young person’s welfare needs then the local authority can end the arrangement.

Local authorities may wish to continue supporting a young person beyond age 21 if it meets their individual needs, such as finishing their course of education.

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. Procedures should be agreed at the outset about how any wish by the carer to bring the arrangement to an end should be managed. The Young Persons Team Worker and/or Supervising Social Worker 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.

An excluded licensee can be asked to leave the property by the Staying Put carer, who must give ‘reasonable notice’. In extreme circumstances it may be considered reasonable for the carer to give very short notice for a breach of the agreement, but this should only be used in exceptional circumstances.


10. Staying Put Agreement

10.1 Staying Put Agreement - Guidance

This Staying Put Agreement provides a framework that sets out the house rules and expectations of young people and their carers where young people remain living with their former foster carer/s after their 18th birthday and under a “Staying Put” Agreement.

Whilst the Staying Put Agreement is a formal document setting out everyone’s expectations the majority of house rules and expectations will be the same as those in place prior to the young person’s 18th birthday; so most of the requirements will remain broadly the same. However, reaching the age of 18 and adulthood is a good opportunity to revisit all of this and see what needs to change.

The Staying Put Agreement is a flexible document and should be used to set out tasks, expectations and house rules which help the “Staying Put” arrangement run smoothly. This should be reviewed every 6 months at the time of reviewing the Pathway Plan.

In order to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them this should be completed prior to a young person’s 18th birthday and be signed and linked to the young person’s Pathway Plan. Ideally it should be discussed and completed at the last statutory CLA review meeting.

The Staying Put Agreement contains three main areas:

  1. Responsibilities of everyone who signs the agreement;
  2. House rules and support;
  3. Payments.

Please sign the Staying Put Agreement after discussing and agreeing everyone’s expectations.

Signed copies of this document should be given to each person to keep and a copy should be placed in the young person’s file.

10.2 Staying Put - Roles and Responsibilities

Click here to see, Staying Put, Roles and Responsibilities document.

10.3 Staying Put Agreement - House Rules, Support and Payment

Click here to see, Staying Put Agreement.

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