Summary of Responses and Key Issues
Question 1: Do you agree with the intention, as stated during development of the 2014 Act, to further increase the higher age limit for persons eligible for Continuing Care from nineteen to twenty years of age from April 2018 to ensure the current cohort of young people continue to be eligible as they increase in age until the duty to provide Continuing Care extends from 16 to 21 years of age?
Don't know: 1
- The majority, 21 of 24 responses, fully supported extension of the higher age limit for eligibility for Continuing Care from nineteen to twenty years of age from 1 April 2018.
- The majority of respondents' comments in support of this reflected their understanding and support of the principles of Continuing Care within the wider context of the Staying Put agenda and broader intentions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act. There was an almost unanimous agreement that providing looked after young people with the opportunity to make a graduated transition out of care was crucial in achieving positive outcomes in the longer term.
Included below are a selection of short quotes from respondents which elaborate on their support for the Order:
"The longer young people have access to supportive care as they mature, the greater the likelihood of producing more confident and resilient adults for the future." Individual Respondent
"Young people who are care experienced are likely to have less alternative support networks and be more reliant on continuing care. As corporate parents, care and support should continue for at least as long as other parents generally offer."
Highland Children's Forum
"Parents do not have a cut of point for care/ love. Neither should our corporate parents." Individual Respondent
"It gives very valuable time for partners and families to work closely with young people in terms of their transition and their individualised needs in terms of their preparedness, which will be different for each young person."
Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership
"Increasing the higher age limit will guarantee that this piece of legislation follows through on its original promise and will ensure that young people can remain in care until the age of 21."
Who Cares? Scotland
"We fully support the Order, which will ensure the continued eligibility of the current cohort of young people to continuing care as they increase in age. Enabling young people to remain in positive care settings for longer reflects the philosophy of care set out in 2013's Staying Put Scotland guidance, and recognises the importance of young people remaining in safe, supported environments until they are fully prepared for more independent living." The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland ( CELCIS)
- A small portion of respondents (3 of 24) either did not agree with the principles of Continuing Care, or were undecided. Among the reasons given by respondents were possible impacts on provision for younger children; that this may be unfair to those young people who were not looked after but equally vulnerable; and that at 20 years old young people should be able to look after themselves.
- As a result of consultation feedback, no adjustments have been requested or made to the draft Order.
- Most respondents used the opportunity to provide additional comments and highlighted challenges related to full and consistent implementation of the original policy intention. However, these do not affect the drafting of the Order or its intention to increase the higher age limit for eligibility to twenty years of age. Points relating to policy implementation are summarised in the next section of this report and sets out the Scottish Government response.
- The draft Order was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 22 January 2018, the Order can be viewed here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/sdsi/2018/9780111038017/contents
- Subject to scrutiny and approval by the Scottish Parliament, this means the legislation will be amended to enable teenagers who turn sixteen, but have not yet reached the age of twenty while in residential, foster or kinship care, to remain in their current care setting ('Continuing Care') after they cease to be formally looked after by the local authority.
- Annual increases to the higher age of the first eligible cohort will follow until eventually the entitlement will enable all young people who cease to be looked after to remain in Continuing Care between sixteen and twenty-one years of age by 2019.
- Subject to Parliament's approval, this Order will come into force on 1 April 2018.