New measures to help care leavers in Northamptonshire make the transition to living independently are set to be discussed by Northamptonshire County Council’s Cabinet next week (14 March).
Training flats will be created in Northampton for young people leaving care at the age of 18 to help them develop the independent living skills they will need to take with them into early adulthood.
There will be 20 flats in total, including 18 independent flats and two shared flats for emergency and gateway (up to 28 nights) accommodation.
Payment rates are also being increased for foster carers to enable them to continue providing care for a young people after their 18th birthday, known as Staying Put arrangements.
Young people in care and care leavers have said they would like the opportunity to stay with their foster carer rather than moving into supported living accommodation.
Under the current system, payment rates for foster carers significantly reduce once their young person turns 18, but it is hoped the proposed increase would see more carers choose to continue their placement.
Cabinet will next week be asked to approve a tender process for the delivery of the accommodation for care leavers, which is set to open in June, and agree the revised Staying Put foster carer payment rates, effective from April 1st.
County council cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Matthew Golby said: “Improving our support services for care leavers is one of the areas we know we need to address following our recent Ofsted inspection, which saw our rating lift from inadequate to requires improvement to be good.
“We are incredibly committed to supporting young people in care after they turn 18 as they prepare to live independently as young adults and so by introducing these new measures, we can provide the type of support care leavers tell us they would benefit from.
“By enabling young people in foster care to remain in their placement post-18, we can ensure they receive continuity of care in a familiar, loving environment, while the training flats will deliver innovative, bespoke accommodation to encourage care leavers to achieve better outcomes in employment, training and future life opportunities.”
The Cabinet meeting will take place next Tuesday (14 March) at 2pm.