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Call to increase foster care age

Fostering and children's charities are calling on the Welsh Government to change the age people leave care from 18 to 21.

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Welsh Government 'piloting foster care scheme'

The Welsh Government says it is running a pilot scheme aiming to keep young people in foster care until they are ready to move on Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Responding to calls to raise the age at which youngsters are made to leave foster care, the Welsh Government says an 'increased age' pilot scheme is underway.

It said: "Work has already begun with the WLGA and ADSS Cymru to introduce the 'When I am Ready' scheme in pioneer areas to enable young people to remain with their former foster carers beyond the age of 18.

"The scheme offers young people choice and control over their placement and gives them support when they decide they are ready to move on.

"Many of these young people have already had disrupted lives and they may lack the stable support network needed to move on to independent living, yet they can find themselves moving out of their foster family home when they are much younger than their peers.

"Local authorities are already under a number of statutory duties to prepare and support young people leaving care to make the transition from care to independent living.

"'When I am Ready' pilots are underway until next spring and we will use the lessons learned in these areas to develop guidance to apply across Wales.

Local authorities will then need to find ways to implement the scheme in their areas and reflect this in their commissioning of placements for 18 to 21-year-old care leavers."

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