Financial support for young people leaving care.
Young people transitioning from the care system into adulthood are to receive a one-off Care Leaver Payment of £2,000 to support them to move into more independent living under proposals being considered.
The First Minister announced the proposed payment will be co-designed with care experienced people to ensure it meets their needs and helps reduce some of the financial challenges they face.
This follows findings from the Independent Care Review which highlighted links between those with care experience and the increased risk of poor mental health, addiction, homelessness and exploitation.
First Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to Keeping the Promise by 2030 to all of our children and young people. This includes making sure that all young people are given the support they need to transition from care into adulthood and more independent living.
“For any young person, at any age, moving away from home can be a challenging time when we rely heavily on family support networks. Many care experienced young people won’t have that luxury which many of us take for granted.
“Care experienced people are over one and a half times more likely to experience financial difficulties and have more than double the chance of experiencing homelessness, mainly before age 30. We also know that money management is a top concern for young people moving on from care.
“It is important we provide the right support at the right time for our care experienced young people – and the Care Leaver Payment will provide much needed financial support at such an important moment in their lives.”
The First Minister made the announcement on a visit to the Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (STAF) in Glasgow this morning.
The Scottish Government’s Programmes for Government in 2021/22 and 2022/23 committed to developing a payment to provide young people moving on from care with additional financial security.
The proposed Care Leaver Payment will form part of a broader package of support which includes access to Continuing Care and Aftercare support for care leavers, the Care Experience Bursary, and Council Tax Exemption for care leavers.
A consultation seeking views on the proposed payment will launch on 3 November and end on 26 January 2024. The consultation paper will contain questions on a range of issues including the purpose of the payment, the eligibility criteria of the payment, and the support required to apply for and manage the payment.
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