This guidance provides corporate parents, managers, practitioners and carers who support looked after children and care leavers with information advice about Continuing Care, which is a new status established by the 2014 Act and is a significant change to both legislation and policy in Scotland. Continuing Care duties came into force on 1 April 2015.
The aim of Continuing Care is to provide young people with a more graduated transition out of care, reducing the risk of multiple simultaneous disruptions occurring in their lives while maintaining supportive relationships.
It inserts a new section 26A into the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to place local authorities under a duty to provide Continuing Care in certain circumstances. Effectively it offers eligible young person’s born after 1 April 1999 and who are at least aged sixteen and whose final looked after placement was in foster, kinship or residential care with the same accommodation and other assistance as was being provided by the local authority, immediately before the young person ceased to be looked after. Effectively it offers eligible young persons the entitlement to remain in their care setting up to their twenty-first birthday where they cease to be looked after by a local authority.
The principle of Continuing Care should be understood in the overall context of
the Scottish Government’s aims and objectives that are: to address the inequalities between looked after children and their non-looked after peers by providing a stable home and ensuring that young people are not discharged from care until they are prepared and ready to leave; to improve the assessment, preparation and planning for young people leaving care; and to provide better personal support for young people after leaving care.
This guidance should be read alongside other relevant legislation and guidance including on the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: Part 9 (Corporate Parenting); Part 10 (Aftercare); section 96 (Assessment of wellbeing); and other relevant parts as these are commenced.