Care Leaver Payment: consultation

We are gathering views on the proposed Care Leaver Payment. The consultation contains 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.

2. Introduction

In 2020, the Independent Care Review published its report, The Promise. The Scottish Government, along with local and national partners, has committed to deliver all of the actions set out within it. In order to do so, in March 2022, the Scottish Government published its Promise Implementation Plan, which sets out the actions and commitments that will be taken across the Scottish Government to Keep The Promise by 2030. This signals a generational opportunity to realise the ambition for every child in Scotland to grow up loved, safe and respected so they can reach their full potential.

The Scottish Government recognises the particular challenges faced by young people who are moving on from care and into adulthood. At any age and for any young person, moving on from home is a challenging time, but when there are limited support networks in place, these challenges can be exacerbated.

In addition to possible adverse childhood experiences and often multiple placements during childhood, young people with care experience continue to leave care at an earlier age than their peers who are not care experienced, with less preparation, less support and often before they are ready.

Financial stress and strain for young people moving on from care can quickly escalate to create a multitude of challenges and can lead to financial hardship. The Independent Care Review listened to the experiences of 5500 people with lived experience of the care system, over half of whom have experience of care themselves. Many spoke about the anxiety they felt about moving on from care and living alone for the first time.

The Independent Care Review highlighted and recognised the links between those with care experience and the increased risk of poor mental health, addiction, homelessness and exploitation. 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. Multiple reports have also found money management to be a top concern for young people moving on from care.

The Scottish Government recognises that the needs and experiences of people with care experience is varied and wide-ranging. To address some of the challenges faced by care leavers and those with care experience, there is a package of support for those who are moving on from care and for young people with care experience. This includes Continuing Care and Aftercare support. The broader support available to care leavers and those with care experience aims to offer additional help when and where it may have most impact.

To ensure the broader package of support meets the needs of people with care experience, the Scottish Government has committed to a further public consultation on the current support available to people with care experience and care leavers. The Scottish Government wants to understand how this support can be better aligned to ensure all people with care experience get the support they may need. It is anticipated that this consultation will launch in early 2024.



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