Consultation Summary and Background
Section 67 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 inserts a new section 26A into the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 in relation to Continuing Care.
Continuing Care is defined in new section 26A(4) of the 1995 Act as meaning the same accommodation and other assistance as was being provided for the eligible person by the local authority, immediately before the person ceased to be looked after. These provisions entitle an eligible young person who is looked after in foster, kinship or residential care to remain in their current care placement up to their twenty-first birthday.
At initial implementation on 1 April 2015, eligibility for Continuing Care only applied to a single cohort of care leavers, aged sixteen, to facilitate sustainable service provision within existing resources. This is the third annual amendment to the Continuing Care (Scotland) Order 2015 to increase the higher age to twenty, which is in line with our publicly stated policy intention to increase the higher age for Continuing Care on an annual basis. Annual increases in the age range will continue to be made to keep pace with the higher age of the initial eligible cohort until the entitlement to remain in Continuing Care extends up to twenty-one years of age.
Following the introduction of the legislation, each proposed amendment to increase the higher age limit has been consulted on. Previous consultations on the 2016 Amendment Order, which raised the higher age to eighteen, and in 2017, which raised the higher age to nineteen, can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/08/5064 and here: https://consult.gov.scot/children-and-families/amending-continuing-care-scotland-order/
The public consultation on this draft Amendment Order took place from 16 October to 13 November 2017. Engagement was encouraged by actively targeting all Scottish local authorities and stakeholders from the social care sector, as well as Corporate Parents listed in schedule 4 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. This followed the same format as 2016 and 2017.
The public consultation received 24 responses from 10 individuals and 14 organisations. We have published the responses with respect to the handling permissions provided to us.
Respondents were given the opportunity to offer additional comments on the draft Order and on Continuing Care provision more broadly. Where respondents have offered comment we have summarised the key points raised and, where appropriate, given a response.