Staying Put arrangements in Dorset
When you turn 18 you can no longer be a Child in Care. If you and your foster carer want to continue living together, you can go into a Staying Put arrangement.
What is Staying Put?
Staying Put allows you to:
- keep living with your foster carer
- learn and develop all the life skills needed to move into independent accommodation
- develop your confidence and abilities to make a positive move on to independence when you're ready
During your staying put arrangement you will learn to:
- cook, do your laundry, clean and tidy
- budget your money
- organise yourself
- maintain or obtain your education, employment or training
- access support and help where you need it and to know where to go for this
How long is a Staying Put arrangement for?
You can remain in a Staying Put arrangement until you are 21. Your income may change but your social worker and foster carer will help you manage this.
If you are working your wages can be assessed to allow you to earn up to £90 before you start to contribute towards your rent.
If you go to university and want to return to your foster placement in holidays, we can make an arrangement.
How do I plan and organise Staying Put?
You can start planning this around your 16th birthday. If you and your foster carer agree that staying put is right for you both, talk to your social worker. They will help you with planning and can give you more information.
Information for carers about Staying Put
What does Staying Put involve?
Staying Put allows young people to live with their foster carer until their 21. Both the foster carer and the young person must agree to the arrangement. It is available to all young people in foster care, except those who qualify as care leavers under the Children Leaving Care Act 2000.
Planning for Staying Put should begin as early as possible in the young person's Needs Assessment and Pathway Plan. It will get discussed at each Looked After Child review meeting.
Although Staying Put is available until a young person's 21st Birthday, we advise that they move on before this time. This is to make sure they get support in their transition by their Leaving Care Personal Advisor.
Who organises the arrangement?
We arrange and fund the arrangement as long as it caters for the interests and welfare of the young person. There will be practical and financial changes for the carer and young person. There is now statutory guidance for Staying Put arrangements.
How do we arrange it?
Contact the Fostering Team or Care Leavers Team for more information about becoming a Staying Put carer:
See also National Children's Bureau - Staying Putfor more information.